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Blackpool Resort to Close

September 9, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Ocean Parcs, owner of the Pontin’s Holiday Camp chain, said it will close its Blackpool park due to poor trading and an unwillingness to invest the funds needed to revamp the ailing resort.

Ian Smith, chief executive, said the decision would result in the loss of 70 jobs at the 40-year-old park. He said, “We looked at it long and hard but bookings have deteriorated and the level of investment required for a short lease meant it was not commercially viable to continue.”

The Blackpool site will revert to Trevor Hemmings, the former owner of the Pontin’s group who retained the freehold when he sold the company to Ocean Parcs. Hemmings, who has a 5-percent stake in the group, is expected to redevelop the site.

Pontins also announced plans to invest more than $247.5 million upgrading the business over the next five years, up from an $82.5 million program it announced in February.

Most of the extra investment will be at its Southport holiday park, which will be completely redeveloped and renamed the Ocean Parc, Ainsdale on Sea. The investment program will add 2,800 jobs.

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