Pontins holiday park in Ainsdale in Southport

Southport’s MP is calling for a public inquiry into Britannia’s practices and operations. 

Damien Moore hopes that it will result in the company relinquishing control over the three Pontins sites it has recently closed in the UK, including the site in Southport. 

It follows a BBC investigation into the recent closure of three Pontins sites owned by Britannia, published on Wednesday (20th March 2024).

Britannia shut the Pontins holiday park in Ainsdale “with immediate effect” on 3rd January 2024, leaving scores of staff without jobs and growing uncertainty about the future of the area. 

Sefton Council says that “significant enquiries” have been made by investors within a range of different sectors keen to take on and redevelop the site. 

But with Britannia holding a 130 year lease, the firm will have a significant say in what happens next – and when. 

Southport MP Damien Moore wants to see the Government step in to take action.

He has written to the Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Dame Caroline Dinenage alongside colleagues Dr James Davies MP (Vale of Clwyd) and Sally-Ann Hart MP (Hastings and Rye) asking for an inquiry to be held with the aim “to encourage the company to dispose of their leased sites so that they can receive much needed investment and redevelopment from others”. 

He said: “Following the extensive investigation carried out by the BBC, I am deeply concerned about the reports published relating to the practices and conduct of the Britannia Group in managing their holiday sites, both current and former.

“The BBC released a report titled ‘Pontins, Rundown & Ruined’, which alleges that nine former and current staff of Britannia and Pontins have had serious concerns dismissed by the head office. 

“These concerns include the structural safety of the operational and former sites, such as Pontins Ainsdale. 

“The site was reported to have ‘mould in chalets, broken doors, damaged window frames and balconies with missing or rusting railings’ when it closed down.

“Given the allegations published by the BBC, I am formally calling for a public inquiry into Britannia’s practices and operations, with the objective to mandate the permanent disposal of leased Pontins sites across the UK, including Ainsdale – facilitating future value-adding investment into our local hospitality and leisure sectors.

“If you have personally been affected by the issues raised in this evolving story, please share your thoughts and experiences by emailing: Haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch through the following channels: WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803, or X: @BBC HaveYourSay.”

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