Butlin's wants to buy abandoned Pontins sites after shock closures

Pontins in Prestatyn
Pontins in Prestatyn -Credit:Google

Butlin's has expressed interest in buying now-defunct Pontins sites. The company's head, John Hendry Pickup, confirmed Butlin's is reaching out to Britannia Hotels, the current owners of the closed Pontins locations at Southport and Prestatyn, North Wales.

The unexpected closure of the Southport holiday park came in January, following closely on the heels of the shutdown of two other Pontins resorts in Pretatyn and Camber Sands, East Sussex, just a couple of months prior.

Speaking to The Mirror, Mr Hendry Pickup disclosed his eagerness to take over one of the sites, although he has not yet received a reply from Britannia Hotels. He stated: "We would definitely still be interested. We would definitely like a conversation with them."

In reference to the Southport Pontins, he remarked: "It is an existing site so there is no need to dig up the countryside."

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Should Butlin's secure the site, the plan would likely involve demolishing the current structures, indicating a more long-term investment. The appeal of the Southport and Prestatyn camps for Butlin's lies in their location, as the company currently lacks a resort in North West England and is not inclined to build a new one from the ground up elsewhere, reports the Echo.

Butlin's, with its three resorts located in Minehead, Somerset; Bognor Regis, West Sussex; and Skegness, Lincolnshire, is gearing up for a bumper year despite the recent closure of three Pontins sites. The company is anticipating a record-breaking number of guests, expecting to welcome over 1.5 million visitors.

While the financial figures for 2023 are still under wraps, Butlin's reported a significant increase in turnover for 2022, with a 54% rise to £290.4m compared to the previous year, which saw disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The holiday firm is currently in the midst of an ambitious £150m investment scheme set to continue until 2027. This includes the construction of a new £15m indoor activity centre at the Bognor Regis resort and the addition of more than 100 luxury lodges at the Skegness site.

Mr Hendry Pickup commented on the company's vision, saying: "The mission is to give loads of things to do. The mission isn't to relax - if people want to do that, we aren't for them."

This summer, TV personality and former Butlin's Redcoat Stephen Mulhern is slated to entertain at the resorts in Bognor Regis, Skegness, and Minehead. A lineup of other performers is also scheduled for the Butlin's Big Weekender events, including Atomic Kitten, Jason Donovan, and Chesney Hawkes.

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