Pontins: Firm behind sudden closure of Camber Sands, Prestatyn and Southport holiday parks accused of 'lack of engagement' by MP

A company has been accused of showing a ‘lack of engagement and support’ following the sudden closure of Pontins in Camber Sands.

The holiday park in New Lydd Road closed on November 30 last year ‘with immediate effect’.

Pontins’ other camp in Prestatyn in Wales also shut its doors suddenly at the same time.

The firm’s Southport camp closed suddenly earlier this month.

Dame Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, and is MP for Gosport, has written to Britannia Hotels, the parent company of Pontins, highlighting her concerns over the sudden closures to chief executive Alex Langsam.

In the letter to Mr Langsam, she said: “Through our work on the tourism industry, the CMS Committee understands the vital role that holiday parks play in local communities, not just as employers, but by attracting visitors who in turn increase demand for local businesses. As such, the closures of these sites at such short notice have caused significant distress for staff and uncertainty for the local economies.

“Concerns have also been raised with me about your willingness to engage with MPs representing the constituencies affected. It is vital that business leaders, communities and elected representatives are able to work together constructively to find long-term solutions to safeguard our seaside towns.

“I would therefore be grateful for further information about what measures you are taking to minimise the disruption for staff, visitors and the local economies affected by these closures. I would also welcome an update on your engagement with Members of Parliament whose constituencies are affected by these closures, including confirmation that you are meeting directly with them.”

Pontins announced the closure of its Camber Sands and Prestatyn sites on November 30 last year via its website.

it said: “We regret to inform you that our parks in Prestatyn and Camber Sands will be closing with immediate effect. Customers whose bookings will be affected by these closures will be contacted by our team and refunded. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Dame Caroline Dinenage said: “The closure of the Pontins holiday parks will be deeply unsettling for the communities concerned given the crucial contribution such venues make to the local economy and general health of our seaside towns. The disquiet felt among staff and local businesses will be exacerbated by the apparent lack of engagement and support from those in charge.”

The holiday park in Camber was built in 1968. The camp has a long association with Len Goodman, Strictly Come Dancing judge, who organised an annual dance festival there for 25 years starting in the mid-1980s.

In 2013 scenes for the Hollywood movie The Monuments Men were filmed on the nearby beach and the production company booked 85 rooms at the camp.

Stars George Clooney and Matt Damon, who featured in the film, were spotted at the camp on several occasions.

Britannia Hotels has been approached for a comment.