Pontins
[Credit: Pontins]

Pontins closes two UK parks with immediate effect

UK: British holiday park operator Pontins has closed two of its parks, in Prestatyn, Denbighshire in North Wales, and Camber Sands in East Sussex, “with immediate effect”.

On its website, a Pontins statement read: “Customers whose bookings will be affected by these closures will be contacted by our team and refunded. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Record label Tidy Trax, which had been planning to hold a “wet and wild weekender” at the park in Prestatyn, said it was “shocked and concerned” by the news of the site’s closure.

A company spokesperson said: “Our team is actively working to engage with Pontins to gather more information and clarity on the situation.”

Founded in 1946 by Fred Pontin, Pontins was brought out of administration in 2011 by Britannia Hotels, which acquired the chain for £20million and saved 850 jobs. At the height of its success, Pontins owned 30 seaside resort destinations across the UK but it now owns only four sites: Pakefield Holiday Village in Suffolk; Southport Holiday Park in Merseyside; Sand Bay Holiday Village in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset; and Brean Sands in Burnham on Sea, Somerset, which is closed to guests until November 2025 to accommodate workers constructing the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Last year, Pontins was the lowest ranked British holiday park chain out of 19 businesses in a report published by consumer group Which?.

Earlier this year, a BBC report revealed that the Home Office was no longer considering housing asylum seekers in a Pontins holiday park in North West England, despite previous rumours that the park close to Southport could be used to accommodate asylum seekers while they had their claims assessed, as a cheaper alternative to using local hotels.

The UK Government had been seeking cheaper alternatives to hotels as accommodation for asylum seekers, claiming that doing so was costing up to £6.8 million per day. Alternative sites that could hold larger groups were considered, including former university accommodation, disused military barracks and holiday parks such as Pontins.

The Home Office has since clarified that the two closed parks in Prestatyn and Camber Sands will not be used to accommodate asylum seekers, amid media speculation on the matter.

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