Staff heartbroken at Pontin's closure

VISITORS to Blackpool's doomed Pontin's holiday camp say staff were in tears following the news of its closure.

Owners Ocean Parcs announced on Tuesday the historic site was to close – blaming spiralling costs and disappointing booking figures.

The news has hit the 70 staff hard, with some telling customers they would have to look for new homes as well as new jobs.

Ken Morris, 71 from Hull, a regular visitor to the holiday camp, said: "It's very sad.

"We've been coming here for quite sometime and we really look forward to it so the news of the closure came as a big shock.

"Some of the staff were in tears and were saying they will also have to look for somewhere else to live because they lodge here during the season."

His wife Audrey, 68, added: "It's very sad that so many nice young people are going to be out of a job."

Mr Morris said the devastating news was delivered to staff on Tuesday morning, just as the news broke on The Gazette's website and on TV.

He said it left Bluecoats and other staff heartbroken. Bosses have now agreed to pump millions of pounds into five other Pontin's complexes around the country.

However the lease on the Blackpool centre, off Clifton Drive, is due to run out on October 2 and will not be renewed.

A planning application has been submitted to Fylde Council by site owners Northern Trust – a Trevor Hemmings company – to build 370 new homes in a massive 50m investment.

Other visitors to Pontin's also said they were "very sad" yesterday.

Charles Toland, 83, from Wallasey, Merseyside, said: "The first we heard about it was yesterday. We've been coming here for holidays for quite some time and it's a great shame.

"I have to say though, it has gone downhill so it's no great surprise."