Park Holidays UK has further reinforced its presence on Britain's east coast with the acquisition of another major Essex park business: Dovercourt Caravan Park.
Based in the seaside town of Dovercourt near Harwich, the long-established park is described by the group as one of its most exciting and strategically important gains to date.
It joins the other five parks operated by Park Holidays UK in Essex, and takes the company into the north of the county adjoining Suffolk where it has four additional parks.
Dovercourt has been providing family holidays for over 50 years, and mirrors the product model of the group by offering both holiday home sales and rentals, together with touring facilities.
Also like Park Holidays UK's other centres, it provides a raft of attractions and entertainment, and similarly boasts a large and loyal customer base with many repeat bookings.
Dovercourt was previously under the ownership of the Hammerton family who have continually invested to maintain the park's competitive edge.
Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish said the acquisition of Dovercourt was an entirely commercial decision, but one bolstered by his long-held respect for the park's management.
Tony said that he and Dovercourt's chairman, Stephen Hammerton, met over 30 years ago when they both served on the parks committee of the National Caravan Council:
"It was apparent from the start that we both shared similar values, and regarded high standards and competitive pricing as core to attracting both sales and rental custom," said Tony.
"That's why I am confident that Dovercourt will be a perfect fit to our group, and we are now drawing up expansion and development plans which will further underwrite its success.
"Over the past few years, Park Holidays UK has invested many millions of pounds in its east coast parks, and this is already being reflected in increased customer activity.
"Dovercourt has become our fourth acquisition in this region in recent years, and now provides us with a well-balanced geographical spread along this popular stretch of holiday coast.
"We are greatly looking forward to being Dovercourt's custodian in the years ahead," added Tony.
Former owner Stephen Hammerton said he was delighted that his park was now passing into the hands of a responsible and forward-looking group:
"Although Dovercourt is first and foremost a business, our family has always taken a deep personal pride in helping it to grow and develop over the years," he said.
"It's also been extremely satisfying to receive so much positive feedback from holiday home owners and visitors, some of whom have demonstrated literally generations of loyalty to Dovercourt.
"The sale of our park generated much interest, but our family feel completely confident that the expectations of our customers will continue to be met by Park Holidays UK," said Stephen.
Dovercourt's history covers the pioneering days of the parks industry, and adjoins the former Warner's Holiday Camp used for the filming of the much-loved comedy Hi-de-Hi! in the Eighties.