A popular Nottinghamshire tourist destination is set to boost its visitor offer by housing 10 new glamping pods as part of a major £500,000 investment by the county council.
The self-contained luxury cabins will be installed on the grounds of Holme Pierrepont Country Park, home of the National Water Sports Centre, and operational in time for spring 2024.
They will each be capable of comfortably sleeping up to six people as well as boasting their own toilet and shower facilities.
Holme Pierrepont – operated by Serco Leisure Operating Limited, under a long-term contract to the county council – hosts events at the water sports centre which attract spectators and competitors from far and wide who stay overnight onsite or elsewhere locally.
The tourist-boosting scheme will cost £684,240 in total and includes a one-off £500,000 investment by the county council to cover the costs of the units themselves.
The remainder of the project costs will be funded by the county council’s operating partner, Serco Leisure. In return for the county council’s investment, there will be a reduction in the annual revenue fee paid to Serco to manage the country park.
It is anticipated the S-Pod Glamping Modules will encourage more people to stay longer at Holme Pierrepont and use it as a base to explore further afield in Robin Hood Country – ultimately supporting the recently refreshed Nottinghamshire Visitor Economy Strategy.
Councillor John Cottee, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Holme Pierrepont Country Park is a real jewel in the crown and draws thousands of visitors each year, as well as spectators and competitors who attend the many events which take place at the National Water Sports Centre.
“By making this significant investment, we are once again reaffirming our commitment to supporting this much-loved attraction and delivering on our pledge to make our wonderful county an even better place for people to visit.
“High-quality accommodation like this will help visitors to enjoy even longer stays in the county and allows them to explore what Nottinghamshire has to offer as a tourist destination.
“I cannot wait to see the pods in use and hear about visitors enjoying their overnight stays in this beautiful part of the world.”
Accommodation at the country park currently comprises a campsite, a selection of hotel-style rooms in the Lakeside Building and a self-contained suite which sleeps up to 11 people at the Elms Cottage.
The campsite, which offers tent and caravan pitches alongside several ‘camping arch’ cabins with shared toilet and shower facilities, has benefitted from the growing ‘staycation’ market following the Covid-19 pandemic and it is hoped the introduction of the pods will build on its popularity.
Councillor Keith Girling, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Asset Management, said: “This significant investment solidifies the county council’s vision to attract more visitors to our county, especially at a time when the sector continues to recover from the devasting impact wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“More visitors coming to Nottinghamshire helps to attract more investment, stimulates growth, and provides more employment opportunities for local people.
“We’re committed to boosting our visitor economy, breathing new life into it and moving on from the challenges it faced during the bleak days of the pandemic.
“Therefore, investment schemes like this at Holme Pierrepont are vital in helping us to meet our pledge as part of our 10-year Nottinghamshire plan to strengthen businesses, create better-quality jobs and make our county somewhere people love to live, work and visit.”
Demand for the pods is expected to be high when they are officially introduced next year.
Jack Garner, Contract Manager at Serco, added: “When launched, our new accommodation S-Pods will provide campers with a luxury holidaying experience.
“As well as self-contained toilet and shower facilities, the pods also boast their own hot tubs.
“We’re introducing these pods as there is a demand from our customers for a higher-end camping option.
“They’re going to be perfect for long weekends, mini breaks and family holidays.
“When we launch the pods in spring 2024, we’re expecting demand to be high from people looking for an outdoor holiday but with indoor luxuries.
“We’re delighted to be supporting Nottinghamshire County Council with their ambitions to attract more visitors to this beautiful part of Nottinghamshire.”