One of the UK’s most successful holiday parks has been bought by operator Away Resorts.
Sandy Balls Holiday Village, based in the New Forest near the village of Godshill, was snapped up by Away Resorts this week.
It takes the number of parks in Away Resorts’ portfolio to six and also includes the Whitecliff Bay complex in the Isle of Wight.
Sandy Balls is a five-star holiday village that offers a range of accommodation including luxury woodland lodges, static holiday homes, glamping and fully serviced touring pitches.
Away Resorts’ chief executive, Carl Castledine told the Bournemouth Echo: “Over the last eight years, we have built up a strong brand that has really hit the right note with UK holidaymakers.
“The demand for affordable UK holidays, particularly short breaks, is strong, and growing, as our record bookings for 2016 have shown.
“Sandy Balls has been a family-owned business run with passion and feeling for almost 100 years, so we are very mindful of retaining the essence of what makes it such a well-loved holiday village.
“It’s in a brilliant location with excellent road links to make getting away on holiday relatively painless.
“The village is also award-winning, having won accolades for its conservation and management of the wooded areas and riverbank, including the David Bellamy conservation gold award (21 times) and Green Tourism Gold Award.
“Sandy Balls complements our strategy of providing our existing customer base with a range of very different types of holidays, avoiding the chainlike feel of our major competitors.”
Council chiefs in the north east have approved plans for the proposed Angrove Country Park after the initial application was scaled down.
An initial larger proposal was scrapped last summer after concerns were raised residents over the scale of the project and its potential impact, reported the Middlesbrough Gazette.
But applicant Alan Petch’s plans for 54 chalets – down from the initial plans for 179 – was approved this week.
Mr Petch told the Gazette: “Mr Petch said: “We are overjoyed to finally have these plans approved as we started initial consultations in October 2014. We have been overwhelmed by the support of local residents, businesses and councils and would like to thank everyone for their enthusiasm.”
Verdant Leisure, which owns six holiday parks in the UK and Scotland, is to invest more than £2.7million in its portfolio in 2017.
It has invested more than £600,000 in new hire fleet across its holiday parks and opened a new head office in Lancaster, creating 20 jobs in the region across areas such as marketing, administration and finance, Insider Media reports.
Its Riverside Holiday Park will see an upgrade to its bar and restaurant and additional fleet. Heather View and Kingfisher parks will benefit from additional investment will see an improved hire fleet and new pitch development while Heather View will also see new facilities including an onsite shop and Wi-Fi.
Graham Hodgson, chief executive of Verdant Leisure, said: “The key to our success is understanding the needs of our owners and holidaymakers and ensuring that we deliver the level of service, quality accommodation and first-class facilities they have come to expect from Verdant Leisure and the parks in our portfolio.
“The staycation trend is continuing and 2017 is going to be another pivotal year for the business, we are excited to see what the future brings.”