REPRESENTATIVES of holiday company Butlin’s are to pay a visit to Prestatyn following talks regarding the closed Pontins holiday camp in the town.

Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, which opened in 1971, suddenly closed effective immediately on November 30, 2023.

Vale of Clwyd MP, James Davies, has held talks with Butlin’s about the Prestatyn site, and the company has accepted his offer of a tour of the surrounding area of the former holiday park.

This week, Dr Davies met the chief executive of Butlin’s, Jon Hendry Pickup; and Simon Cope, the company’s chief commercial officer; who have shown an interest in the potential redevelopment of the site into a fit-for-purpose, modern holiday park. 

Rhyl Journal: Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Butlins, Jon Hendry Pickup, and Simon Cope, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Butlins, Jon Hendry Pickup, and Simon Cope, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). (Image: Submitted)


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During this meeting, Dr Davies offered them a tour of the Prestatyn area, which they accepted.

Following the closure of Prestatyn Sands, the MP wrote to a dozen holiday park operators – including Butlin’s – to encourage them to look at acquiring the site.

He said: “Since the moment I found out about the unexpected closure of the Pontin’s site in Prestatyn at the end of last year, I have been working hard to ensure the site is taken over and not left vacant for years.

“I am extremely pleased that Butlin’s are interested in the site and had a useful meeting with them this week, during which they accepted my offer of a visit to the area, which I am hopeful will take place very soon. 

“Butlin’s is a successful company which has been providing families with holidays in the UK since 1936.

“Having them here in Prestatyn would undoubtedly give the area a huge boost.

“However, I must stress that they are only expressing an interest at this stage and I am continuing to pursue all options with the UK Government and Denbighshire County Council.”

Rhyl Journal: Prestatyn Sands Holiday ParkPrestatyn Sands Holiday Park (Image: Newsquest)

When asked by the Journal in April if it has made enquiries about Prestatyn Sands, a Butlin’s spokesperson said: “This year sees our biggest ever investment across our three resorts.

“As a fast-growing and well-backed business, we're always looking for new opportunities, and the North West is an obvious location for us in the future.”

Pontins also shut its parks in Camber Sands and Southport in November and January respectively, and has only three open sites remaining in the UK.

In March, Dr Davies wrote to Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, requesting that it investigates the practices of Britannia Hotels Ltd, the parent company of Pontins.

He has made attempts to engage with Britannia since Prestatyn Sands’ closure, but has yet to receive a “satisfactory response”.

At a meeting of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee yesterday (May 22), the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Lucy Frazer MP, said she has also written to the chief executive of Britannia, Alex Langsam.


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She stressed to the company the importance of liaising with the MPs who have contacted them, but has not received any response.

Dr Davies added: “Concerns about Britannia Hotels and its practices long precede the closure of the sites – particularly in relation to a lack of investment and neglect, and the poor treatment of staff.

“While each of the three sites have great potential, in recent years, they have negatively impacted the communities in which they are based.

“As we stated in our letter calling for a select committee inquiry: ‘Looking to the future, we are each aware of serious and positive interest in the redevelopment of our sites by other parties, but liaison with Britannia has repeatedly proved incredibly difficult, despite contact from ourselves, our local authorities, the public and the media’.

“Back in 2020, I expressed concern that Pontins were running their UK holiday parks into the ground, and suggested that the company should consider selling the sites to a company that will invest in them.

“The site in Prestatyn is in a prime position in the town, and I am confident that with a reputable company like Butlin’s in charge, it could be brought back to life and become a vibrant holiday resort attracting visitors to the area from far and wide.”

In December, the Journal was told that, while Britannia Hotels was inviting offers for Prestatyn Sands, it was not yet prepared to enter into negotiations about the site at that stage.

Staff at Prestatyn Sands were told that the decision to close the park was due to it being projected to make a financial loss in 2024.