Ocean Parcs has announced it is to close its Blackpool Pontin's holiday park but will boost investment in its other five sites by £150m.
The Blackpool resort has suffered an 8% drop in visitor numbers over the past year and the closure will result in 70 job cuts but the company stressed its three- to five-year investment plan is expected to generate nearly 3,000 new jobs.
Ian Smith, chief executive of Ocean Parcs and Pontin's, said it was no longer "commercially viable" to renew the Blackpool lease due to a fall in visitor numbers but added that development plans would benefit staff and guests.
"It is with regret and sadness that we will not be extending the development plans to our Blackpool Holiday Park. Our plans for our parks in Prestatyn, Camber, Brean Sands, Southport and Lowestoft will bring enhanced benefits to both staff and guests," he said.
The £15m expansion of Pontin's in Prestatyn, Denbignshire, is expected to double visitor accommodation, reaching 5,000 guests and to generate 500 new jobs.
Expansion at Brean Sands in Somerset will generate 450 jobs; Southport, 850 jobs; Lowestoft in Pakefield, 350 jobs and Camber Sands, East Sussex, 550 new positions.
Improved facilities across the parks will include enhanced leisure pool facilities, themed restaurants, amusement arcades, bars and nightclubs.
The announcement is the latest blow for the Blackpool region, which lost its bid to host the now shelved super-casino to Manchester in 2007 and has been fighting dwindling tourist numbers for some time.
By Emma White
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