MP visits Dales park building staycation appeal
North Yorkshire MP Julian Smith saw how a top-rated holiday park in his constituency is gearing up to become a popular stop-off point for endurance cyclists.
Mr Smith was at Riverside Caravan Park in the village of High Bentham where the Marshall family are currently implementing a major new investment programme.
The Skipton MP saw how work was progressing on 20 new luxury holiday lodges being sited on the edge of nearby 18-hole Bentham Golf Course which is also owned by the park.
Thomas Marshall told Mr Smith that, according to independent research, the lodges are likely to drive up local visitor spending in the area by around £500,000.
The park already provides 240 caravan holiday homes, and is also now starting to build a small development of glamping pods in its grounds.
The park, said Mr Marshall, is already popular with cyclists completing the Land’s End to John O’ Groats challenge, and the pods will provide another accommodation option.
He also showed Mr Smith plans for the new reception centre being built on the park where holiday guests will be welcomed, and provided with tourist information.
Thomas Marshall, whose father first started welcoming camping guests on his farm in 1969, said that North Yorkshire was benefiting greatly from the “staycation boom”:
“This is a wonderful part of the world to enjoy a family holiday, and we have seen guest numbers continue to rise in recent years,” he said.
“Even more encouraging is that many turn into repeat visitors, and in some cases even go on to buy a holiday home on the park, thereby making a long-term commitment to UK holidays.
“It’s good news for us, of course, but also for the many smaller family businesses in the area which benefit our visitors’ spending, such as pubs, restaurants, shops, markets and visitor attractions.
“We were delighted that Julian Smith was able to take time off from his busy schedule to come and see our progress, and meet our other family members and staff,” added Thomas.
Riverside has been praised by botanist David Bellamy for its care of the natural world, and also boasts a number of other accolades including a top quality grading from VisitEngland.
Thomas and his wife Jane are helped in the running of their business by their daughter Isabel. There is more information about the park at www.riversidecaravanpark.co.uk