Butlin's interested in coming to North Wales seaside town but there's one problem

Barkby Beach where the dead otter was found
-Credit: (Image: Ian Cooper/North Wales Live)

Butlin's are coming to North Wales to consider bringing the brand back to the region but there is one problem. The holiday giant left the area in the 1990s after decades at Butlin's Pwllheli, which was sold to Haven in 1999.

Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies has been in talks with Butlin’s about taking on the Pontin's camp in Prestatyn, recently meeting Chief Executive Officer Jon Hendry Pickup, and Simon Cope, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer. They have shown a keen interest in the potential redevelopment of the Pontin's site into a fit-for-purpose, modern holiday park.

The camp was closed suddenly last November by Britannia Hotels and has remained shut. Britannia has also closed Camber Sands in East Sussex and its Southport holiday park.

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Now the bosses at Butlin's have accepted an invitation to the area to further explore the possibility of taking on the site. The MP will give them a tour around the perimeter of the site as well as show them what North Wales has to offer.

But there is one problem. It is that Britannia are still not engaging over a potential sale, meaning as it stands they won't get access to the actual camp.

Butlin's could be interested in taking over the Pontins Prestatyn location
Butlin's could be interested in taking over the Pontins Prestatyn location in North Wales -Credit:Daily Post Wales

MP Dr Davies said “Since the moment I found out about the unexpected closure of the Pontin’s site in Prestatyn at the end of last year, I have been working hard to ensure the site is taken over and not left vacant for years. I am extremely pleased that Butlin’s are interested in the site and had a useful meeting with them this week, during which they accepted my offer of a visit to the area, which I am hopeful will take place very soon.

“Butlin’s is a successful company which has been providing families with holidays in the UK since 1936. Having them here in Prestatyn would undoubtedly give the area a huge boost. However I must stress that they are only expressing an interest at this stage and I am continuing to pursue all options with the UK Government and Denbighshire County Council.”

The MP said he has made repeated efforts to engage with Britannia since their unexpected closure, but to date has not received a satisfactory response.

In March, Dr Davies, along with Sally-Ann Hart MP (Hastings and Rye) and Damien Moore MP (Southport), sent a letter to Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, requesting that the Committee investigate the practices of Britannia Hotels Ltd, the parent company of Pontins. At a meeting of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP advised that she too had written to the CEO of Britannia, stressing to them the importance of liaising with the MPs who have contacted them, but she has not received any response at all.

Dr Davies added: "Back in 2020, I expressed concern that Pontins were running their UK holiday parks into the ground, and suggested that the company should consider selling the sites to a company that will invest in them. The site in Prestatyn is in a prime position in the town, and I am confident that with a reputable company like Butlin’s in charge, it could be brought back to life and become a vibrant holiday resort attracting visitors to the area from far and wide.”

Britannia have been asked to comment.

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