CENTER Parcs has announced it is pursuing plans for a new holiday village in the UK – and is expanding the search for a location.
The leisure resort company had previously abandoned proposals for a new site of 900 lodges near Crawley in West Sussex.
But the company has now confirmed that it intends to develop a replacement elsewhere in south-east England.
And that’s despite Center Parcs being up for sale for around £5bn.
The Crawley plans were scrapped in February after environmental studies concluded the site was “not a suitable location” for a resort.
However, a new update for investors states that the search for a new base has not only expanded, but has also “progressed very well”. The caterer reported.
Center Parcs was established in the Netherlands in 1968 and currently has five locations in the UK.
These are in Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Whinfell Forest in the Lake District of Cumbria, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire.
There is also a Center Parcs resort near Ballymahon in Ireland which last opened in 2019.
The company also announced today a record fiscal year, with revenue increasing 18 percent in the 12 months ended April 20 this year.
Profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 12 per cent to £275m – while occupancy at Center Parcs holiday accommodation was 97 per cent compared to pre-Covid levels.
Canadian private equity group Brookfield Property Partners officially put Center Parcs up for sale in May, reportedly in hopes of doubling the £2.4 billion paid for it eight years ago.
Potential buyers are said to include private equity firm KSL Capital Partners, which last year acquired the parent company of the Pigs hotel group.
The Crawley plans, first announced in 2021, called for lodges and indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, a subtropical swimming paradise, a variety of restaurants and shops, and an Aqua Sana Spa.
The last Center Parcs to open in the United Kingdom was in Woburn Forest in 2014.
And in 2020, Center Parcs’ Whinfell Forest Resort introduced its new luxury treehouses.
But Center Parcs missed out on the top spot in a new ranking of Britain’s best holiday parks and resorts.
Consumer Guard Which? In a survey of 1,000 members, family-run business Potters Resorts took first place with an overall score of 88 percent.
With two locations in Norfolk and Essex, the all-inclusive resort received five stars out of five in all categories, including customer service and value for money.
Second came Waterside Holiday Group, which has four locations in the south of England – three in Dorset and the other in Cornwall.
Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales took third place, followed by Center Parcs in eighth out of 18 places. It received a high rating for the quality of its accommodation, but less so for value for money.
Meanwhile, traditional favorites Butlins scored 71 percent and Pontins 59 percent.
Last month Center Parcs changed its rules to allow teenagers to holiday without older supervision to attract a younger crowd.
Meanwhile, one mum revealed how you can save over £500 on your next Center Parcs holiday.
But those looking for bigger deals have been told about a UK holiday park that people say is better and cheaper.