Backing for holiday parks to open longer

Holiday parks in Hastings and St Leonards have been given the green light to extend their opening seasons and say they anticipate a boost in people buying holiday homes as a result.

Coghurst Hall holiday park in Hastings and Beauport holiday park in St Leonards, both owned by Park Holidays UK, will now close for just two weeks each February for planned improvements.

Previously with ten-month local authority licences, which were increased to 11 months last year, the two parks together provide more than 1,300 holiday caravans and lodges.

Allowing owners access almost all year round, says Park Holidays UK, will provide a boost for the many local businesses which benefit from tourism spending.

The group says that both parks already inject millions of pounds annually into the local economy, and that this is now likely to rise still further.

Park Holidays UK, which has its national headquarters at Coghurst Hall, also believes that the new opening seasons will encourage more second home buyers from the region.

Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish said: “We already have a significant number of holiday home owners who live in Hastings and other nearby areas.

“It is especially popular among people who work shifts and unsocial hours, such as police and medical staff, as they can often find time for escapes during the week.

“Those who live where they work, such as publicans or the self-employed, also often buy holiday homes so that they can have a frequent change of scenery.”

Over the past year, Park Holidays UK has successfully applied for licence extensions at many other of the 23 parks in its group. Mr Clish said many people now prefer multiple holiday breaks spread over 12 months, adding: “Part of the pleasure is in experiencing a region throughout the four seasons, and enjoying breaks at less busy times of the year when roads and attractions are quieter.”