Pontin’s of Blackpool / St Annes on Sea
Story taken from Daily Mail – 9 September 2009.
The Pontin’s holiday park in Blackpool is set to close next month with the loss of 70 jobs.
The resort, which opened over 40 years ago, has fallen out of favour with UK visitors in recent years, suffering an 8 per cent drop in visitor numbers in the past year while other Pontin’s parks across the UK have increased in popularity.
Ian Smith, Chief Executive of Ocean Parcs and Pontin’s, said that though Blackpool closure is the cause of ‘regret and sadness’ it reflects the changing fortunes of Blackpool itself, which has ‘been lacking investment over the last 10 to 15 years’.
‘It was not an easy decision for the board to make,’ Mr Smith said. ‘But the level of investment required for a short period of time, and a reduction in holiday bookings at the park, which is the reverse of the trends at our other parks, means that it is not commercially viable to continue beyond the end of the current lease.’
With the closure of Blackpool, Pontin’s owner Ocean Parcs, is set to invest in the remaining five Pontin’s parks across the UK, with £100 million set aside to transform the Southport Pontin’s (located 35 miles from Blackpool) into a ‘holiday village’ with the creation of 250 jobs.
The Blackpool Pontin’s site is expected to redeveloped by former Pontin’s owner Trevor Hemmings, who still owns the freehold to the land.
Photos by CSN – Canon 550D, Tameron 17 – 50mm f/2.8