Holiday firm goes into administration

RENOWNED holiday chain Pontin’s, which operates a resort in Brean Sands, has gone into administration.

However, administrators insist the announcement will not result in redundancies within its 850-strong nationwide workforce.

The announcement came on Saturday after bookings fell dramatically in the past year, which, combined with the current financial climate, has placed the company in a difficult financial situation.

Administrator, accountancy firm KPMG, has said the company’s five resorts will continue to trade as normal, and it is optimistic that it still has a future.

Pontin’s, which is famous for its Bluecoat entertainers, used to own 30 resorts across the length of the UK.

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The Brean Sands resort was the company’s first park, opening in 1946, and is one of the largest of its five remaining parks.

KPMG says it is looking to bring in an experienced leisure operator to help look after the company’s day-to-day business until a buyer can be found.

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And the firm has also moved to calm customer fears over holiday bookings by insisting all reservations will be honoured.

Joint administrator Jane Moriarty said: “It’s a testament to the value of the Pontin’s brand that we have received such a deluge of enquiries from potential buyers.

“We expect business people from across the leisure industry will be looking closely at Pontin’s.

“Great British brands are also appealing to wealthy overseas investors, particularly from the Middle East or Asia, who have not been as affected as the economic downturn as the West.”

KPMG has said it is unable to comment on the future of specific resorts at the present time, and has also refused to comment on speculation over the identity of would-be buyers.

The company was originally started by Fred Pontin, who saw a gap in the market for self-catering ‘stay-cation’ holidays, with 30 holiday-villages being open at Pontins’ peak.

But recent years have seen the company struggling, with all but five of those resorts closing, and the company was bought by Ocean Parks for �46million in 2008.

KPMG has set up a helpline for people who have made bookings at Pontin’s: 0844 576 8481.

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