Pontins is the trading name of Britannia Jinky Jersey Ltd, a company operating holiday parks in the UK. The original Pontins company was founded in 1946 by Fred Pontin.
Pontins specialises in offering half-board and self-catering holidays featuring regularchalets (which Pontins calls "apartments").
entertainment at resorts, or "holiday parks", as they have branded them. Accommodation is usually in the form of
In 1978 the company was sold to Coral for £56 million. In 1980, Coral (including Pontins) was taken over by Bass Brewing, who sold Pontins in 1987 to a management buyout team led by Trevor Hemmings It was sold yet again in 1989, to Scottish & Newcastle.
Over the next ten years the company closed or sold off a number of sites. In a three-year programme in the mid-1990s, the remaining camps were modernised. By 2000, the company was operating only eight camps, and was sold back to Hemmings. In 2008, the company was sold to Ocean Parcs for £46 million. Wall Park holiday centre was not included in the sale. In January 2009, Pontins announced the closure of its Hemsby holiday centre. Pontins Blackpool in Squires Gate closed in October 2009 leaving five parks still trading under the Pontins brand.
Pontins headquarters were relocated to the Southport Holiday Park, at Ainsdale-on-Sea, close to the village of Ainsdale. From the original Hemmings buy-out until then the headquarters were located at Sagar House in the village of Eccleston, Lancashire.
In September 2009, Pontins announced a five-year multi-million investment plan for the remaining five parks. Refurbishment work completed in 2010 included a new half-board restaurant and ice skating rink at the Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, and a new roller skating rink at the Brean Sands Holiday Park. Including proposals of re-building the Camber Sands and Southport Holiday Parks and doubling the capacity of the Pakefield Holiday Park.
In 2010, Pontins went to administration and in early 2011, the company was bought out of receivership by Alex Langsam (the owner of Britannia Hotels).
In 2014, the former Pontins resort at Sand Bay was purchased by the group and it became the sixth resort to be operated under the 'new Pontins' brand.
Former and closed resorts
This is a list of some former Pontins resorts in both Ireland and the United Kingdom that have either closed or been sold off:
- Barton Hall, Torquay, Devon; now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
- Bay View, Brixham, Devon
- Blackpool, Lancashire; (closed 2 October 2009); demolished and cleared, housing is currently being built on the site
- Bracklesham Bay, Chichester, West Sussex
- Broadreeds, Selsey, West Sussex
- Buckleigh Place, Westward Ho!, Devon
- Dolphin Holiday Village, Brixham, Devon
- Homelea Holiday Camp, Brixham, Devon
- Hemsby, Norfolk; (closed January 2009); now owned by Northern Trust; as of 2013 it is back on the market
- Jersey Holiday Village, Portelet Bay, Jersey
- Little Canada, Wootton, Isle of Wight; now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
- Middleton Tower, Heysham, Lancashire; site now a retirement village (opened 2007)
- Osmington Bay, Weymouth, Dorset; now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
- Plemont Bay, Jersey
- Riviera Chalet Hotel, Bowleaze Cove (near Preston), Weymouth, Dorset
- Sands Hotel, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales
- Sandy Bay, Northumberland
- Seacroft, Hemsby, Norfolk
- South Devon, Paignton, Devon
- South Downs, Bracklesham Bay, near Chichester
- St Mary's Bay, Brixham, Devon; now a Park Holidays UK site
- Torbay Chalet Hotel, Paignton, Devon
- Tower Beach, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales
- Trabolgan, County Cork, Ireland; currently operating as "Trabolgan Holiday Village"
- Wick Ferry, Christchurch, Dorset
- Wall Park, Brixham, Devon housing
In popular culture
- The 1973 British film Holiday on the Buses was filmed at and set in the Prestatyn resort. A plaque was erected in 2004 at the main entrance gates (unchanged since the film) to note this event. The same venue hosts professional snooker each year. Prestatyn Sands also hosts the finals for the annual Brass Band Festival historically, the qualifying rounds were held in other Pontins centres.
- The previous On The Buses film, Mutiny on the Buses (1972), depicted buses carrying adverts with the slogan "Go Pontinental", implying that Hammer Film Productions had already established a working relationship with Pontins with a view to shooting a future film at one of their resorts.
- Carol Lee Scott (known as "Grotbags") performed cabaret throughout different Pontins sites in the 1960s and 70s.