Swanage holiday park gets new owners and a new direction

Swanage Bay View holiday home park – once owned by the town council – has new owners who plan to give the site more of a holiday resort feel.

The holiday park has been sold by Bournemouth-based Aria to Away Resorts which has sites across the UK. The transfer has just been completed in May 2022 and new signage is in place, with staff being recruited for the summer season.

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Swanage Bay View holiday home park
Swanage Bay View

Under new ownership – Swanage Bay View holiday home park

“Finishing the integration”

Harry Copp, leisure manager, who joined the firm in March 2022, said:

“We are finishing the integration of the old Aria branding with the new Away Resorts material.

“From the leisure perspective it was a question of taking down posters and making sure all the old Aria branding came down and changing over uniforms. All the signs across the park had to change, so it was a big task.”

Harry Copp, leisure manager, Swanage Bay View caravan site

Harry Copp, leisure manager, in the park’s gym

Boost the site as a resort

But it is more than just a cosmetic change. There is going to be a change of emphasis and an upgrade to the facilities.

The more than 300 holiday homes on the site are privately owned but there is a push to get them hired out to holidaymakers and boost the site as a holiday resort, with a programme of activities and entertainment.

Grant Kelly, park services assistant, Swanage Bay View caravan park

Grant Kelly handling maintenance at the site

“A new ship and a new crew”

Grant Kelly, park services assistant, who joined in November 2021, said:

“Since the takeover I feel there has been much more structure. There’s a really optimistic feeling about the place. The new owners have brought in new staff and set up a comprehensive package of training.

“Around 80 percent of the staff are new. It’s a new ship and a new crew and it’s going to sail on to good times.”

Aria branding
Away Resorts branding

Out with the old and in with the new

“Enjoy a great British holiday”

Harry added:

“Away Resorts has brought in a strong sense of direction and we have had more executive support. They want to invest in their parks and make them better so that everyone can enjoy a great British holiday.”

The site is situated in the area of old quarry workings and was deemed unsuitable for permanent ‘bricks and mortar’ homes because of the potential for subsidence.

It was purchased by Swanage Town Council and managed by the council until 2009 when it was sold for £7.25 million to Darwin Leisure. The deal included an annual ground rent of £30,000 for the 105-year lease.

Swanage Bay View holiday home park
Swanage Bay View

The indoor swimming pool is enjoyed by both visitors and residents

Swanage Bay View holiday home park
Swanage Bay View

The park was originally owned by Swanage Town Council

Place for visitors and locals alike

The council was forced into the sale after the Audit Commission ruled it was inappropriate for the council to be taking a direct income from caravan sales. In May 2019 Darwin sold on the lease to Aria Resorts. Just three years later it’s been sold again.

The site is currently busy recruiting for maintenance and food & beverage staff as well cleaners and an accommodation manager.

The new management say as well as boosting the town’s economy and providing employment, they are keen to encourage locals to see the resort as a place for entertainment and somewhere with a great view to eat out.

Harry Copp and Grant Kelly, Swanage Bay View caravan park

Harry Copp and Grant Kelly in the new uniforms at Swanage Bay View

Further information

More about Swanage Bay View is on its website

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