BLANK CANVAS

BLANK CANVAS

York House Leisure expands into the residential park sector...

With a solid background in owning and operating award-winning holiday parks in picturesque North Yorkshire, it was just a matter of time before York House Leisure expanded into the residential park sector. Now, this family-run business is launching its most ambitious development so far –Gateforth Park -- a large, luxury park home community on a 45-acre site, just minutes from the popular market town of Selby in the Vale of York. “My family had been looking for the right ‘blank canvas’ for many years,” reveals York House Leisure Co-Director, Phil Brierley. “York House Leisure was established in 1965 as a holiday park business, but we’ve grown naturally over the years into the residential market. “We were keen to further expand and offer something different when, four years ago, a chance meeting led to our discovery of the site at Gateforth.”

VANDALISED SITE

Phil says that looking at Gateforth Park today, with Phase One of its luxury development well underway, it’s hard to believe that this former mushroom farm site had stood derelict for a decade and was a regular target for vandalism, arson and fly tipping. Fortunately, York House Leisure Directors Phil and his brother Tim had the industry experience to see past Gateforth’s appearance as a dilapidated brownfield site and recognise its potential. York House Leisure purchased the site in August 2018 and drew up plans for a three phase re-development that would completely transform the neglected 45-acre site into a spacious park home development of 168 well-appointed homes. “We felt that Gateforth Park could be transformed into something really special,” says Phil. “Our vision from the start was to develop the highest quality residential park that offered the very best in over 50s living. And with planning permission awarded unanimously by the local District Council in January 2019, the hard work really began!” The development at Gateforth is situated next door to Selby Golf Club and makes the most of its attractive countryside surroundings, as well as excellent road and rail links to some of the area’s top leisure destinations. When complete, the park will include a fishing lake, community centre, woodland and recreational areas. The lake will be surrounded by homes, giving relaxing views of the water and the wildlife. York House Leisure’s four holiday parks – York House, Old Hall, Swaleside and Abbot’s Green – already hold David Bellamy Gold Awards for conservation, and the plan is to develop a similar scheme at Gateforth Park.

CUTTING TEETH

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, in front of the new Majestic 42x20 at Gateforth Park - Phil Brierley of York House Leisure, Silvano Geranio & Andrew Westwood of Prestige Homeseeker, and Dawn Hughes of Gateforth Park.

The York House Leisure team cut their residential park teeth on Quarry Moor and New Park, a 92 plot, traditional style park that has been in the family since the early 1980s. The park is popular with over 50s wishing to downsize within a small, friendly community that offers easy access to the area’s considerable attractions. The two side-by-side developments are situated on the outskirts of the historic cathedral city of Ripon, home to the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens, and a short drive from Harrogate and further afield, York. Quarry Moor and New Park is typical of the York House Leisure Park ethos. Phil says that they “aim to offer immaculately maintained parks, which offer quiet, private space with all the benefits of a real community.” “It might be traditional in style, but this park has been carefully developed over many years and is now filled with greenery and wildlife throughout the year,” explains Phil. “Each plot is set back from the main driveway, giving residents additional space and privacy that is a key selling point for re-sale of the homes there.” With a portfolio of successful parks, the York House Leisure team of 20 (35 in peak season) are happiest when looking after their customers, the majority of which are holiday home owners.

Flagship holiday park, York House, has won a raft of accolades including a Visit Britain 5 Star Award for Tourism, Hoseasons Diamond Finalist Award for Customer Service, and it was selected as a Finalist in the White Rose Awards 2019. With a bit of luck – and customary hard work – Gateforth Park will attract similar success. Fifty park home bases and eight show homes from Prestige Homeseeker Park and Leisure Homes are now in position at Gateforth as part of Phase One of the development. Already, the park has 10 reservations, which has exceeded expectations at this early stage, especially considering the challenges of operating over recent months. “What a difference a year makes!” says Phil, smiling. “We didn’t start redeveloping Gateforth until last August and we recycled many thousands of tonnes of concrete and demolished several huge industrial buildings on site. Not to mention the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! But, all credit to our team, we are well on track with Phase One of the park and we couldn’t be more excited to start welcoming our first residents to Gateforth later this year.”

 

 

The Holiday & Leisure Park Development Forum

The Holiday & Leisure Park Development Forum

3rd - 4th October 2019

Whittlebury Hall, Northants
www.hlpd-forum.co.uk

A brand new event for 2019, The Holiday and Leisure Park Development Forum will bring together the holiday and leisure park community to share best practice through an inspiring seminar programme as well as the opportunity to network and explore some of the most innovative products and services in the sector.
With the theme ‘Harnessing the growth in the UK staycation’ speakers include Jamie Christon, chief operating office of Chester Zoo who will be discussing managing sustainable growth, Paul Hardingham UK managing director of Landal GreenParks who will be talking about trends, innovations and expectations for UK holidays, and Matt Cartwright, director of Twelve Architects who will talk about ‘creating a destination’ with reference to Bodmin Jail museum and hotel in creating a leading visitor attraction.
Held over one and half days this must attend event will be attended by owner/operators and the key players involved in the design, build and management of holiday and leisure parks of all kinds. If you are upgrading, expanding or developing new parks then it is complimentary to attend including access to the seminars, executive accommodation, all meals, drinks receptions and our superb gala dinner. It will run in parallel with the physical activity facilities forum offering further networking opportunities. Please visit www.hlpd-forum.co.uk to register your interest in attending or contact Sue Ramcharan on 020 8288 1080 email: sue@stable-events.co.uk If you are a supplier interested looking to meet with decision-makers please contact Leslie de Hoog email: leslie@stable-events.co.uk or call 020 8288 1080.

Generating £9.3 Billion Spending

Generating £9.3 Billion Spending

Generating £9.3 Billion SpendingHoliday parks and campsites around the UK generate £9.3bn in visitor expenditure and support 171,448 full-time employees, a major report has revealed. The independent report, ‘Pitching the Value’, is the first time holiday parks and campsites across the UK have been analysed to show the value of the sector to the nation’s economy. ‘Pitching the Value’, which focusses on the economic impact of the sector together with the health and wellbeing benefits of such holidays, was carried out by Frontline Consultants on behalf of the UK Caravan and Camping Alliance (UKCCA). The alliance is an umbrella group comprising The National Caravan Council, The Camping and Caravanning Club, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association. Bob Hill, who led the UKCCA joint working group, said: “This is a ground-breaking report that clearly demonstrates the important benefits to the economy brought by the UK’s many holiday parks and campsites. “Pitching the Value will help the industry attract more investment and ultimately improve opportunities for it to grow, develop and create new jobs. Our findings reinforce the importance of holiday parks and campsites to the country’s tourism economy. That will help us to improve holidaymakers’ on-site experiences and choice, which in turn will also attract more overseas visitors to these shores.”

HEALTHY LIFESTYLES

Holiday Park and Campsite operators also support local communities through capital and operating expenditure, and wages. Nearly half of those companies and organisations that took part in the report cumulatively spend nearly £303 million per year in this way. The research also found they engage with local communities through support for events such as fundraising activities, participate in recycling and environmental initiatives, and promote healthy active lifestyles in the great outdoors through pastimes such as walking and cycling. The four sponsoring organisations of the UKCCA own or are affiliated to 6,243 holiday parks and campsites across the UK with a combined total of 438,076 pitches. Those sites offer holidaymakers a diverse range of accommodation such as touring pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes, rented holiday homes, lodges, and chalets, plus glamping units like tipis and yurts, together with a wide selection of on-site facilities. Bob added: “We want to use this compelling evidence to ensure key influencers and decision-makers support the development and growth of our industry at a national, regional and individual business level for the benefit of our economy and for holidaymakers themselves.”

Visit www.ukcca.org.uk for further information or to download a copy of the Pitching the Value report.

 

 

Recruitment Drive

A major regional recruitment drive has been launched by Shorefield Holidays, a leading tourism business with holiday parks in Hampshire and Dorset.

A major regional recruitment drive has been launched by Shorefield Holidays, a leading tourism business with holiday parks in Hampshire and Dorset.

Recruitment Drive

Shorefield Holidays has launched a major regional recruitment drive to enable further growth of the holiday business. Shorefield, which runs six holiday parks across Hampshire and Dorset, employs more than 250 full-time staff and contributes more than £27m every year to the local economy.

In recent years Shorefield has seen significant growth across its parks, both for holidays and holiday home ownership. Managing Director Simon Pollock explained that with the impact of the staycation trend, and the increased cost of holidaying abroad following Brexit, they are anticipating this growth will continue.

“We are proud of our staff training and development programmes, and especially of our team, many of whom come from the local area. We are an Investor in People and especially want to foster local talent,” said Simon.

Site Takes Shape

Site Takes Shape

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.”

UK Tourism Set To Soar This Year

UK Tourism Set To Soar This Year

Figures show that the first three months of the year set a record for inbound visits to the UK. Pic: VisitBritain.

 Pic: VisitBritain

This year is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for tourism if the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics are anything to go by.

Figures show that the first three months of the year set a record for inbound visits to the UK, up by six per cent on the same period last year.

More than 7.36 million people visited UK between January and March, with visitors spending £3.64 billion.

Tourism Minister David Evennett said: “Our tourism industry is booming as our world-class attractions, heritage and culture make Britain the first choice destination for many, with visit numbers at an all-time high.

“Tourism is making a massive contribution to our economy and we want to keep up this momentum, encouraging more people to come and enjoy the very best of Britain for themselves.”

Comparing growth during the last five years shows that there were six million more visits in 2015 than 2010, an increase of more than 20 per cent.

Broadchurch Fever Hits Bridport

broadchurch

Bookings at Highlands End Holiday Park are up by 57.8 per cent following the return of the TV drama Broadchurch. Pic: ITV

Broadchurch Fever Hits Bridport

Business is booming at Highlands End Holiday Park in West Dorset following the return of the popular ITV drama Broadchurch, which features scenes filmed at the park and the surrounding areas.

Highlands End Holiday Park in Bridport says bookings so far this year are up 57.8 percent for holiday home rentals and up 196 percent for touring pitches.

The programme, filmed around West Bay, returned for a second series on ITV in February, featuring a stellar cast including David Tennant and Olivia Coleman. Visitors flocked to the area last year to see the locations, and many more now seem keen to take a holiday in the heart of the action.

Highlands End Holiday Park general manager James Cox said: “At the end of October the cast and crew of Broadchurch were filming the second series on Eype Beach next to the park.

“While the holidaymakers at Highlands End were asked not to take pictures of any plot spoilers, they had a bird’s-eye view of the filming from the decking of their caravan holiday homes.”

He added: “We have recently expanded our luxury holiday lodge accommodation as the existing lodges, bungalows, holiday homes and apartments are all booking well on the back of Broadchurch fever.”

Safety First For Holiday Hot Tubs

lorica

Peter Heffer, director of holiday parks at Lorica Insurance warns hot tub owners to ensure they have the right insurance cover.

Safety First For Holiday Hot Tubs

The increasing popularity and demand for holiday hot tubs can be a double-edged sword for holiday park operators.

Installing a hot tub is a substantial investment that can add real value to a holiday property. Even so, unexpected events can happen which can result in serious damage to the tub or to the bathers. For this reason park owners should be aware of the risks and ensure that they’re fully protected by their insurance policy.

“Firstly, there is the risk of damage to the hot tub itself and an insurer needs to appreciate that they are providing cover for this aspect,” explains Peter Heffer, director of holiday parks at Lorica Insurance.

"For example, is the tub an intrinsic part of the holiday or residential home structure or is it a standalone unit, which is arguably contents.”

Peter adds: “Other important questions to think about include does the sum insured cater for the hot tub? Does the insurer provide full policy cover or are certain losses, such as escape of water and accidental damage, excluded? Will cover operate if the home is sub-let?”

There is also the question of cover for injury to third parties. When it comes to hot tubs there can be increased risk of disease if the tub is not properly cared for and maintained to a high standard. With this in mind, Peter stresses the importance of ensuring that you are covered for legal liability to members of the public should they contract an illness or suffer an injury whilst using the hot tub.

Peter adds: “Lastly, you should consider if your insurance policy involves any special conditions that require you to conform to manufacturers’ safety and maintenance requirements. Whether the hot tub was professionally installed or not can also affect the policy.”

Lorica strongly recommend that you check your individual requirements and cover position with your insurance advisor. Talk to the Lorica team today to be sure you are prepared and fully covered for all eventualities.

Lorica Insurance Brokers
Tel. +44 (0)7827 895671
www.loricainsurance.com

Campaign Calls For Tourism VAT Cuts

VAT Cuts

Findings by the Cut Tourism VAT campaign reveals that the UK’s tourism industry would be significantly better off if VAT was reduced from 20 per cent to five per cent. Pic: VisitBritain.

Campaign Calls For Tourism VAT Cuts

Pressure is mounting on the government to cut VAT on UK tourism, after thousands of businesses and politicians signalled their support for a nationwide campaign.

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign believes the industry would be £4bn a year better off, and lead to the creation of up to 120,000 new jobs, if Britain fell into line with Europe and reduced the levy from 20 per cent to five per cent.

A cut in VAT would also increase the appeal to visitors from overseas already struggling with a strong pound, campaigners claim, helping the British tourist industry to compete with low-taxed European and American attractions.

Graham Wason, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign, said: “This new research is the economic proof the Treasury has asked for to prove what every other country in Europe knows – that cutting VAT on holidays is profitable for governments.

“Many of our coastal towns are ignored but cutting VAT would help them thrive. More than 60 cross-party MPs have signed our parliamentary motion and more than 1,000 companies and groups are backing the campaign.”

Campaign supporter Dermot King, managing director of Bourne Leisure commented: “As the pound continues to strengthen against the Euro, the gap in price competitiveness between the UK and her European partners widens. Outside of the London bubble, UK tourism continues to try to compete with not just one but increasingly two arms tied behind its back.”

Tourism is one of the UK’s largest industries – employing over 3.1 million people and generating £127bn for GDP in 2013 – and campaigners say a cut in VAT would give a vital boost to regional businesses and economies reliant on the industry.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “As the driving force behind our recovery, it’s vital we help smaller firms grow. No one denies the cut would dent tax revenues initially but only briefly, so this is a chance for politicians to prove they are really in it for the long by making an investment in an industry which is the UK’s biggest employer of young people.”