Scottish Parks Meet At Annual Summit
Pictured are chairman of BH&HPA (Scotland) Colin Fraser; national BH&HPA chairman Henry Wild; Scottish tourism minister Fiona Hyslop MSP; BH&HPA (Scotland) policy director Jeanette Wilson, and director general of BH&HPA Ros Pritchard.
Owners and managers of many of Scotland’s 200 plus park businesses attended the annual conference of the BH&HPA (Scotland) in November, at the end of what was generally regarded as a highly successful year for their sector.
Scottish tourism minister Fiona Hyslop MSP was the guest speaker at the event and was welcomed by Aberdeen park owner Colin Fraser who is chairman of BH&HPA (Scotland). Mr Fraser told the minister that an independent economic survey published last year found that Scottish holiday parks generate around £700m of visitor spending each year in Scotland.
This figure, he said, accounts for 8% of all the revenue produced by Scotland’s tourism economy, and allows the Scottish park sector to support more than 5,600 full-time equivalent jobs. In her address to delegates, Fiona Hyslop said: “The holiday homes sector is a unique but vital part of our tourism and hospitality industry.
The sector provides important geographic spread, allowing visitors to see more of our country and, in doing so, to support our rural economies.” Other speakers at the Edinburgh event included Director General of BH&HPA, Ros Pritchard, who outlined some of ways in which the association engages with politicians to help frame UK and EU laws and regulations affecting park businesses.
National BH&HPA chairman Henry Wild also gave his perspective as a holiday park owner on how the association helps its members develop their businesses and meet customer expectations.
Site Takes Shape
Work has begun on a new caravan holiday home park on the edge of the historic market town of Ludlow in Shropshire.
Morris Leisure is investing £200,000 in developing the new park for 36 caravan holiday home alongside its successful Ludlow Touring Park.
First phase work is expected to be completed in the spring and will see 20 pitches created. “It’s great to be able to develop a caravan holiday home park alongside the touring park and we now feel the time is right to press ahead with the work to bring even more sustainable tourism to Ludlow, which is a very popular destination,” said Edward Goddard, Morris Leisure’s Managing Director.
“We believe the new park is going to further enhance the local tourism offer and generate extra income for Ludlow and the surrounding area, which has got to be good news for the local economy.”
Taking The Plunge
A new £1 million pool complex is being built at Seawick Holiday Park in Clacton.
One of Clacton’s largest holiday parks, Seawick in St Osyth, is investing £1m this winter on a prestigious new swimming pool complex. It’s envisaged that the new pool complex, complete with flumes and new changing areas, will be ready for the park’s re-opening in March. Owners of the park, Park Holidays UK, says the pool will benefit not just the local economy but also the environment – as it will be heated by a super-efficient biomass boiler.
Much more environmentally friendly than conventional heating systems, the green energy boiler will be fuelled by wood pellets and reduce substantially the park’s carbon emissions. Seawick’s new pool will complete a series of new developments at the park, which included the opening of a new £1.8m entertainment complex last summer.
Park Holidays UK Director Tony Clish, commented: “I am confident that our investment will help attract even more visitors to Clacton in the future, and this will also benefit the many other businesses in this part of Essex which rely on tourism.”
The owner of Europa Holiday Park has been fined for safety breaches, following a serious fire at the park in August 2015.
Park Faces Fire Safety Failure Fines
The owner of Europa Holiday Park, in North Devon has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £15,500 costs after pleading guilty to six offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Graham Toms, Director of Woolacombe Beach Holiday Park Ltd (operating at Europa Holiday Park), was also given a six-month sentence suspended for two years when he appeared before Exeter Crown Court. On the afternoon of August 3, 2015 a significant fire broke out in the club house at Europa Park Holiday park.
During the course of the fire, two staff members suffered burns and a guest, using the pool with his young son, had to break out of the building by using his bare feet to smash the glass of a locked fire exit with only minutes to spare. The resulting investigations by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service revealed a number of failings including lack of emergency escape lighting and failure to provide adequate safety training for staff. The investigation also found that Mr Toms had failed to act on the findings of a fire risk assessment carried in 2009, which had identified several issues.
Business Safety Manager Paul Bray, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Mr Toms had been in the industry for many years and should have been well aware of what was expected and needed in respect of fire safety at the premises. “He understood the need for a Fire Risk Assessment, yet failed to comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order by ignoring advice from those he had appointed to assist, putting lives at risk as evidenced by the actions and resulting injuries sustained by a guest and staff as a result of a fire on the premises.”