Park’s ding-dong New Year sees village swell

Having a ball: Michael Holgate at the park's US-style bowling alley, one of the attractions for New Year guests

Having a ball: Michael Holgate at the park’s US-style bowling alley, one of the attractions for New Year guests

The population of Silverdale on the borders of south Cumbria was almost doubled this New Year following an explosion of celebrating visitors.

Michael Holgate of Silverdale Holiday Park says his business set a 60-year record for people choosing to spend the New Year break away from home.

More than 1000 guests were partying and popping the corks on their bubbly on January 31, he says, nearly doubling the village’s population of some 1500 people.

But not all families, said Michael, were staying in snug and centrally-heated holiday homes.

Also pitching up were scores of campers and owners of touring caravans, plus people with motorhomes and others booking one of the park’s glamping pods.

“The rise in people coming away for Christmas and New Year has been evident for some time, but this year the numbers rocketed,” said Michael.

“Many say that they have a much more relaxing break when everyone is on neutral territory and away from their usual family surroundings.

“We certainly find that it makes for a great stress-free atmosphere on the park, and we often find families coming together for impromptu parties,” he says.

Michael believes that Cumbria as a whole will benefit from the holiday year growing longer and producing fewer peaks and troughs throughout the calendar:

“Our six holiday parks employ around 135 people, and each year we find ourselves less reliant on seasonal staff and better able to provide more full-time positions.

“This allows us to attract higher calibre recruits, and to be able to invest in their personal training and development which benefits both them and us in the longer term.

“Four-season holidays also spread tourism spending more evenly throughout the year, and this helps the many smaller business which rely on our visitor trade,” said Michael.

This year, he added his business has also been able to provide New Year accommodation at two luxury cottages opened alongside Silverdale’s popular local pub, The Royal.

After standing empty since 2010, The Royal re-opened in spring this year following a £300,000 refurbishment project by Michael’s family business.

There is more information about Silverdale Holiday Park, and the five other Cumbria and North Lancashire parks belonging to the Holgates group, at www.holgates.co.uk

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