Western Daily Press
Holiday park operator in major West investment
UK holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts is investing £6.2m in its Dorset, Devon and Cornwall sites, and is planning to hire thousands of staff ahead of an expected staycation boom.
The company is installing new accommodation, renovating facilities and upgrading existing caravans and lodges as part of a £70m investment in its business nationally.
The South West investment includes 12 new high-specification caravans at Holywell Bay, in Cornwall, and a major upgrade at Lizard Point, including 30 revamped chalets, two new four-bed lodges, an updated complex building, and a new Boathouse Bar & Restaurant.
There will also be five upgraded cottages at Challaborough, in Devon, and new caravans at Ruda, Torquay and Bideford Bay, as well as refurbishment to Bideford Bay’s Manor House Bar and Restaurant.
Parkdean Resorts said there would also be 120 upgraded caravans introduced to replace its existing fleet across the region.
The holiday park operator employs more than 1,100 staff across the
South West during peak season and the business is currently hiring for jobs including sales, food and drink, and housekeeping. The company said it expected to hire 6,500 seasonal staff for 2021.
Steve Richards, chief executive of Parkdean Resorts, said: “Despite the most challenging of years, we’re continuing to invest in our parks, creating an even better experience for holidaymakers and holiday home owners in 2021. We know how reliant the local economy is on tourism, and we’re confident that we can help the region recover by welcoming holidaymakers to enjoy a welldeserved staycation in the South West of England.”
During 2020, the holiday operator put staff on furlough but said it topped all payments up to 100% during the UK lockdowns and also provided free accommodation for more than 100 NHS key workers at four of its holiday parks.
According to the business, Parkdean hired “record numbers” of seasonal staff in 2020 in response to increased demand for staycations last summer. It said there would be a need for more seasonal workers this year as it prepares for the holiday season.
ENVIRONMENTAL infrastructure fund JLEN has secured the development rights for a planned battery storage plant in Melksham, Wiltshire.
FTSE 250 listed JLEN announced it has acquired a 50% equity stake in Gloucestershire company Sandridge Battery Storage, which holds the development rights to construct the Sandridge Battery Storage project.
JLEN will invest up to £12.7m in the scheme, which the company said is fully consented and construction ready, over the next 12 to 18 months.
The 50MW lithium-ion battery energy storage plant will be connected to Southern Electric Power Distribution plc’s distribution network.
It is expected to reach energisation and start commercial operations in October 2022.