Beds, Herts & Bucks

Center Parcs set to build new Bedfordshire resort

Holiday village operator Center Parcs is set to build a new resort with 625 forest lodges, a 75-bedroom hotel, swimming pool and lake in Bedfordshire.

The firm has secured £250m in funding to construct what would be its fifth UK resort, at Warren Wood near Woburn.

The company said the centre, which is due to open in 2014, would create about 1,500 jobs.

Another 1,200 people will be employed in the building of the site, for which planning permission was given in 2007.

Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby said the construction project would be "the largest of its type in Britain for many years".

"I am delighted to be moving ahead with our new site at Woburn, which will bring significant benefits for both our guests and the wider economy," he said.

'Real boost'

The funding was secured after banks agreed a £150m construction loan.

The remaining funds will be provided by the group's private equity owner Blackstone, following a £1bn refinancing.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Center Parcs is much loved by many and this new site is not only great news for holiday makers but great news for the economy too.

"This expansion and the jobs that it brings will be a real boost to growth and a sign of the increasing investor confidence that there is too."

The group has existing sites at Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, and Longleat Forest in Wiltshire.

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