A Norfolk seaside holiday village has undergone a major £500,000 revamp of its facilities for the new season.
Seacroft at Hemsby near Great Yarmouth has transformed its main entertainment complex, including the Harlequin showbar.
It means visiting stars including Joe Longthorne, Bobby Davro, and Claire Sweeney will have new staging, lighting and dressing rooms.
And visitors also have the chance to stay in improved accommodation with an ongoing upgrade of a number of the chalets at the village which is part of the Richardson’s holiday company.
Seacroft Holiday Village is a former Pontins site which Richardson’s took over in the 1998, running it for grown-ups only next to its family Hemsby Beach holiday park.
The company also runs South Downs Holiday Village, a grown-ups only centre near Chichester, as well as its original 70-year-old Norfolk Broads boating business which has a fleet of 300 hire cruisers at Stalham and Acle as well as two day-hire sites.
Improvements have been done in just over a month during the close season said marketing manager Adam Yardley.
The showbar has doubled its audience capacity to 400 by knocking through to adjoining rooms and corridors, to incorporate a previously separate sun room and bar. The venue will host the on-site entertainments team, resident band, and a string of visiting stars which also include Chas and Dave, Ray Quinn and Chico Slimani.
There is also a new look for the guest reception area, with seating and a new access ramp, a new snooker room, and new holiday shop. Forty of the older chalets have been knocked down and the site cleared to create a new grassed open space.
Mr Yardley said early feedback on the improvements was “very positive,” and bookings for the forthcoming season were looking “fantastic.”
Eighty-six of the 181 chalets on the site have been upgraded to premier standard, with modern furniture, bedding and décor to reflect a rise in visitor expectations. Some are suites with an extra seating area.
Seacroft was also delighted to have been upgraded by Visit England from two to three stars following a recent visit, he added.
Mr Yardley said: “Richardson’s prides itself on its history of providing value for money breaks for a wide range of holidaymakers and is keen to invest in the future.”
Richardson’s is a member of the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area, whose chairman Gareth Brown praised the company’s investments, saying: “Improvements like this ensure our visitors are experiencing the highest quality facilities which will enhance their stay and it is also a sign of confidence from Richardson’s in the strength of the area’s tourism offer.”
1 Light and modern – the design of the new Harlequin showbar at Seacroft
2 A premier suite bedroom
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Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area BID is a Borough-wide arrangement where businesses come together and decide which improvements they feel could be made in their area, how they will implement these improvements and what it will cost.
BIDs are financed and controlled by the businesses within the selected area and run for a maximum of five years. During this time the BID company must be able to show that they are benefiting the businesses which fund it.
Using the levy drawn from Greater Yarmouth businesses it aims to invest £2.4m over a five year term to enhance and promote the area, bring in more visitors, encourage them to stay longer and spend more.
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