Gates Tops Bunn Leisure Entertainment
Pop star Gareth Gates is one of the top acts in West Sussex holiday park Bunn Leisure’s 2018 entertainment line-up. On May 12 this year, the 33-yearold singer will be heading to the south coast holiday park to perform an eclectic mix of pop classics including Spirit In The Sky, Summer of 69, and Suspicious Minds. It’s been 16 years since Gareth Gates won the hearts of the nation on the UK’s first Pop Idol, wowing the judges and finishing a close runner-up to Will Young. Since then, the Bradford-born star has carved out a hugely successful career, selling over 3.5 million records worldwide, with four UK No1 singles. He’s starred in West End musicals, come fourth in Dancing On Ice, made a TV documentary about the struggle faced by people who stammer – and has recently launched the world’s first range of coconut teas!
Bunn Leisure Entertainment Investment
Award-winning holiday park operator, Bunn Leisure, is continuing to invest heavily in a new state-of the-art entertainment complex and a purpose-built main reception and head office facility. The 300-acre holiday park on the stunning Selsey Peninsula is split into four villages and is mid-way through an ambitious £16m refurbishment programme replacing the 60-year-old White Horse entertainment complex.
“The White Horse was a much-loved feature at Bunn Leisure, but some parts date back to 1959 when the park was created,” Managing Director John Bunn said. “The new complex will be a very modern 21st century entertainment venue – much larger and with fantastic new facilities for our parks. With Bunn Leisure’s entertainment budget at around £2million each year, the new club will be able to welcome twice as many guests, and is expected to quadruple turnover.
“We continue to re-invest heavily in our facilities and Parks which clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment as an innovative leader in the UK family holiday sector,” adds John. “The money we are investing into these latest improvements takes the total reinvestment value in the parks over the last 20 years to £75m.” Bunn Leisure’s new head office and visitor reception is now complete, and staff are currently relocating in stages to their new offices. Bunn Leisure employs 350 full-time and a further 350 seasonal staff, and welcomes more than 100,000 holidaymakers every year. It generates more than £60m for the local economy and the new developments will create future employment opportunities for the region.
Bunn Leisure is investing heavily this year in improving its on-site facilities.
Bunn Leisure, a five-star holiday village complex in West Sussex, has embarked on an ambitious £14m refurbishment programme, which will create jobs and provide a welcome boost to the local economy. The first phase of the plans passed by Chichester District Council will see the creation of a new head office and main visitor reception, with a new entertainment complex and improvements at the White Horse and Green Lawns sites following 12 months later.
John Bunn, managing director of the 300-acre park, said: “Bunn Leisure offers outstanding family holidays at our four wonderful parks and this refurbishment programme will enable us to provide an even better service. “We begin 2017 investing heavily in our facilities and it shows our ongoing commitment to be an innovative leader in the family holiday sector. “Our park employs 350 full-time and 350 seasonal staff, and we welcome 100,000 holidaymakers every year.
Bunn Leisure already generates more than £60m for the local economy, and we hope these developments will create future employment opportunities and increase our popularity as a tourist destination.”
Head of Operations & Retail at Bunn Leisure
After spending eight years working for Bourne Leisure and three years with Bridge Leisure, Neil moved to Bunn Leisure in West Sussex in January 2016 to become Head of Operations and Retail. His responsibilities include oversight of all retail experience at the Bunn site; bars, catering, shops and the Oasis pool complex.
You’ve spent most of your career working in holiday parks, how have they changed?
Without a doubt it’s our visitors’ expectations – they have risen enormously. The difference in expectation when I started with Rank in the early 1990s to now almost can’t be compared. What visitors expect to see in their caravan; anything from double-glazing to central heating, plus the basic functionality of them has risen and so has their expectation of how their children will be entertained, both during the day and the evening.
What’s the most important aspect of your job?
It’s got to be the ability to understand the business from the customer view. I think it helps that I’ve spent a number of my holidays in the past either on holiday parks. If you’ve enjoyed this type of holiday it gives you invaluable experience to bring to the job.
Anything specific you’ve taken from your own experience at these places?
I remember being at Disney and noticing that the team there all had name badges which wasn’t particularly innovative but then they’d include the place they came from, such as ‘Jake from Denver, Colorado’. I introduced that at one of the parks I used to work on for Bourne Leisure. Little things like that can make a big difference – critical non-essentials, I like to call them!
What is the main focus of the retail side of holiday park work?
Ensuring good and consistent working practises and looking at everything we sell and how we sell it. I’m always looking into new ways and new products to retail – what do our customers really want to see in our shops, bars and restaurants – and how we can help our guests buy our products at the best possible price.
Is live entertainment still important?
Absolutely. I think we’re miles ahead on this - we spend more than £1.5 million a year on entertainment at Bunn Leisure and our guests and owners really appreciate it. They love the idea that they are getting world-class performers, such as Billy Ocean or Heather Small, as well as the activities we produce for teens and children.
It sounds as if children and young people are increasingly the key?
If they are it’s because we attract so many families and one of the reasons for that – and for UK holiday parks still being so popular - is because it’s a safe and secure environment for children. There’s a feeling here that you can allow your children to roam free and enjoy a wide range of activities and facilities. When I was a child you could go out and play in the street but parents are far less likely to let their children do that now so it’s great they can still do this in holiday parks.
Bunn Leisure is celebrating its record-breaking 2014 results, which saw an increase in bookings, sales and turnover.
Bunn Leisure Announces Record Year
South coast holiday park Bunn Leisure has announced a record breaking year in 2014, with holiday bookings, turnover and caravan sales all reaching a new high.
The park in Selsey, West Sussex, benefited from last year’s sweltering summer and extended months of opening to post its best ever set of results. The park sold a record 420 caravans with sales up 12 per cent on the previous year. Turnover from bookings at Bunn Leisure and its sister campsite Warner Farm rose significantly, as did income from retail sales and site fees.
The company was also recognised by its industry peers with an award for 20 years of partnership from Hoseasons, a Hoseasons Diamond Award for customer service and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
John Bunn, managing director of Bunn Leisure said: “Our mission is to provide our owners and guests with a fantastic, fun and safe place to enjoy the traditional British holiday and our aim is to always exceed our customers’ expectations.
“Our success in 2014 shows we are getting the formula right – and we are continuing to invest in Bunn Leisure to grow this successful park where people love to holiday and our staff love to work.”
Abby Garner (far right) and members of the Bunn Leisure fundraising team with Billy Ocean.
Pop Star Boosts Charity Coffee Morning
Fundraisers who decided to hold a coffee morning to support a cancer charity, ended up raising £10,000 after it got Billy Ocean’s backing.
The group were surprised when the recording artist turned up at the event at Bunn Leisure Holiday Park in West Sussex. The friends had hoped to raise a few hundred pounds at most when they agreed to host a small event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care.
But the fundraiser took on a life of its own after the group asked Bunn Leisure Holiday Park, where they all own caravans, whether they could use a few tables at one its entertainment venues to host the event. Staff at the park offered their support and helped spread the word among owners and holidaymakers. Then pop star Billy Ocean, who was performing at the park, lent his support by posing for photos and offering a signed shirt for auction.
Fundraiser Abby Garner, said: “I had a vision that we’d get maybe 30 or 40 people and raise a couple of hundred pounds. I thought if a few of us got together we could do our little bit.
“We had raised about £5,000 before the doors even opened thanks to the raffle tickets and sponsorship. And on the day we raised that much again. We were stunned that from such a small beginning we raised so much.”
John Bunn, managing director of Bunn Leisure Holiday Park, said: “Abby owns a caravan here on the park and is a regular visitor – and when she asked for help, we were all too pleased to do everything we could to help her raise money for this worthy cause.” He added: “I’m delighted the team have raised so much and pleased that we were able to support those who put so much energy and effort into this extraordinary fundraiser.”