|Type||Private Limited Company|
|Industry||Holiday / Leisure|
2011 (as Britannia Jinky Jersey Ltd)
|Founder(s)||Fred Pontin (original company)|
|Headquarters||St Helier, Jersey, CI (registered office)
Ainsdale, Southport, Merseyside (trading office)
|Number of locations||5 holiday parks in UK|
|Key people||Alex Langsam|
|Products||Family holiday parks|
Pontins is a British holiday business which was originally founded in 1946 by Fred Pontin. It specialises in offering half-board and self-catering holidays with regular entertainment. Accommodation is usually in the form of chalets. The company once grew to be a major operator of seaside holiday accommodation, but has now shrunk considerably.
In 1978 the company was sold to Coral in a UK£56 million deal. In 1980, Coral (including Pontins) was taken over by Bass Brewing who later disposed of the Pontinental side of the business. In 1987, Pontins was sold to a management buyout team led by Trevor Hemmings, whose construction firm had originally built the holiday centre at Southport. It was sold yet again in 1989, this time to Scottish & Newcastle. Over the next ten years the company closed or sold a number of sites. In a three-year programme in the mid-1990s, the remaining camps were modernised. In 2000 the company, which now owned only eight camps, was sold back to Hemmings. In 2008, the company was sold to Ocean Parcs for £46million. Wall Park holiday centre was not included in the sale, and, in January 2009, Pontin's announced the closure of its Hemsby holiday centre. Pontin's Blackpool in Squires Gate closed in October 2009 leaving five parks still trading under the Pontin's brand.
Pontins headquarters were relocated to the Southport Holiday Park, which is located on the coast at Ainsdale-on-Sea, close to the village of Ainsdale. From the original Hemmings buy-out until then the headquarters were located at Sagar House in the village of Eccleston, Lancashire, but the Southport Holiday Centre had always had provision for the establishment of emergency offices as part of Pontins' disaster recovery planning.
In September 2009, Pontins announced plans for a five-year multi-million investment plan for the remaining five parks. Refurbishment work completed in 2010 included a new half board restaurant and real ice skating rink at the Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, along with a new roller skating rink at the Brean Sands Holiday Park.
In November 2010, Pontins announced they had gone into administration. No jobs were lost and customers were still able to go on holiday. A spokesman from the chairman of Pontins said that the company would continue to trade during this time and that it would be getting help to move the company out of administration.
On 28 January 2011 KPMG announced that Britannia Hotels Group was now the new owner of Pontins Holidays. Alex Langsam, owner of Britannia Hotels, has since announced a £25 million investment programme, with the intention of refocusing Pontins as themed seaside destinations, taking inspiration from Disney theme parks.
In the early hours of 2 January 2012, a fire broke out at the Brean Sands site causing damage to 8 chalets. 5 people were treated for smoke inhalation.
Four new Bungalows were built in January 2013 offering VIP accommodation at Brean Sands, Pakefield, Prestatyn and Southport. Each come with a list of extras and dogs are welcome at most sites.
Pontins currently owns and operates five resorts (known as "holiday parks") in the United Kingdom.
- Camber Sands, East Sussex
- Pontins Southport, Ainsdale, Merseyside
- Prestatyn Sands, Denbighshire, North Wales
- Brean Sands, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset
- Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk
These are a list of former Pontins resorts in both Ireland and the United Kingdom that have either closed or been sold off.
- Barton Hall, Torquay, Devon now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
- Bay View, Brixham, Devon
- Blackpool, Lancashire – Closed 2 October 2009 and currently under demolition. Site will be developed as housing.
- Bracklesham Bay, Chichester, West Sussex
- Broadreeds, Selsey, West Sussex
- Buckleigh Place, Westward Ho!, Devon
- Dolphin Holiday Village, Brixham, Devon
- Homelea Holiday Camp, Brixham, Devon
- Hemsby, Norfolk – Closed January 2009. Now owned by Northern Trust. As of 2013, the site is now back for sale
- Jersey Holiday Village, Portelet Bay, Jersey
- Little Canada, Wooton, Isle of Wight now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
- Middleton Towers, Heysham, Lancashire
- Osmington Bay, Weymouth, Dorset now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
- Plemont Bay, Jersey
- Riviera Chalet Hotel, Bowleaze Cove, near Preston, Weymouth, Dorset
- Sand Bay, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, now operating as a private concern, almost exactly 'as was', focus on older couples rather than family holidays.
- Sands Hotel, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales
- Seacroft, Hemsby, Norfolk
- South Devon, Paignton, Devon
- South Downs, Bracklesham Bay, near Chichester
- St Mary's Bay, Brixham, Devon now a Park Holidays UK site
- Torbay Chalet Hotel, Paignton, Devon
- Tower Beach, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales
- Trabolgan, County Cork, Ireland (still opened as "Trabolgan Holiday Village")
- Wick Ferry, Christchurch, Dorset
- Wall Park, Brixham, Devon
Bluecoats are, like their redcoat counterparts at the Pontins competitor Butlins, both guest hosts and often entertainers:
- Shane Richie, actor
- Helen Chamberlain, TV presenter
- Nyle Wolfe, opera singer
- Bobby Davro, TV game show host
- Lee Carroll, TV host and scriptwriter
- Scott Bruton, X Factor finalist
- Lisa Scott-Lee, singer/dancer
- Lee Mack, stand-up comedian and actor
- Bradley Walsh, actor and TV presenter
- The 1973 British film Holiday On The Buses was filmed at and set in the Prestatyn resort. The same venue hosts professional snooker each year. Prestatyn Sands also hosts the annual Brass Band Festival ; the finals have always been held at this location, historically the qualifying rounds were held in other Pontins centres.
- Carol Lee Scott A.K.A. Grotbags used to perform cabaret throughout different Pontins sites in the 1960s and 70's.
- Pontins are long-term sponsors of reserve football leagues in England.
- Pontins at Hemsby was host to the annual Bloc Weekend music festival.
- Princes Theatre at Pontins Blackpool was used as the base for Most Haunted Live 12, in December 2004.
- John Frusciante played a concert at Pontin's Holiday Camp, Camber Sands. (ATP Festival) 2005
- "Pontins to get 'Disney' makeover". BBC News. BBC. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- Pontin's bought by former boss. The Guardian. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
- Pontin's to close holiday centre. BBC News. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- Blackpool Gazette: Blackpool Holiday Camp to close
- "Holiday camp firm Pontin's goes into administration". BBC News. BBC. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- BBC News: Students to live at Ainsdale Pontin's camp