East Anglia parks meet as season starts to simmer
North Norfolk’s multi-award winning Kelling Heath Holiday Park was the venue in April for a well-attended meeting of BH&HPA’s East Anglia branch.
With their final preparations being made for the main holiday season, delegates from across the region gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Members heard too from BH&HPA national chairman Henry Wild on key matters affecting their businesses, and how the association is helping to provide advice and support.
There was also a chance for those attending to enjoy a tour of Kelling Heath’s 300-acre grounds and its nearby sister-park Woodhill, both owned by Blue Sky Leisure.
The business has been run by the Timewell family for over 35 years, and the many accolades received by both parks include the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.
Henry Wild, whose parks are Skelwith Fold in Cumbria and Moss Wood in North Lancashire, suggested to delegates that many in the industry were looking forward to a buoyant season.
However, he said, there existed potential pitfalls for any business owner who wasn’t keeping up to speed with changing legislation, consumer trends, and new marketing strategies.
Referring to the new National Minimum Wage, Henry said that this had been welcomed by the parks industry which had always promoted well-paid jobs and worthwhile career opportunities.
He added, though, that the recruitment of suitable personnel was often a headache, but that BH&HPA’s website www.parkjobs.info can be an invaluable resource for locating candidates.
Henry outlined how the web was also opening an exciting new landscape of park marketing, especially via social media which could provide a low-cost level playing field for businesses.
Referring to the industry supply chain, he acknowledged that some members had been experiencing problems in obtaining new units, but was hopeful that this would be addressed by manufacturers.
Henry also urged parks of all types to engage regularly with their local political representatives, and that an investment of time into showing them their parks was always worthwhile.
Branch chairman David Attew of Deers Glade Caravan and Camping Park, and director Paul Searle of Searles Leisure Resort, thanked Henry on behalf of members for his attendance.
Lunch at Kelling Heath was generously sponsored by leading off-mains drainage specialist Marsh Industries whose representatives were also in attendance at the meeting.