Northumberland holiday park gets green light for winter opening to help recoup lost income

A Northumberland holiday park has been granted permission to stay open this winter to help it recoup lost income.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 12:08 pm

By the terms of its licence, Barmoor Castle Country Park, near Lowick, is only allowed to be open for 11 months a year to avoid becoming a permanent place of residence.

It would usually close its doors from mid-January to mid-February but owner Jamie Lamb successfully lobbied Northumberland County Council to the green light to stay open.

The family’s 200-acre site has already been shut for three months and the winter opening is seen as a way of recouping some of that lost income.

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Barmoor Castle Country Park, near Lowick.

Jamie said: “The harsh truth is that those who do manage to survive enforced closures for the past few months will have to adapt to how they operate as we learn to live with the virus for the foreseeable future.

“My licence to operate a holiday park insists that I have to close for one month a year to avoid becoming a permanent place of residence for our lodge and caravan owners.

“I asked Northumberland County Council to allow me flexibility given the circumstances and, thankfully, they are happy to count the lockdown period as my annual closure.

“It means I will be able to open next January to February, a time when I would usually close up for winter, and will help me get the park up and running again as close to normal as possible.”

The council has been inundated with requests for help.

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson said: "Tourism is a huge part of the Northumberland economy so it’s vital we support the industry through these troubled times.

“The council has already paid out £85million of central government funding to small business but we also have tools of our own to help out.

“Taking a flexible approach on lodge and caravan park opening times is similar to the approach we have taken with pubs, shops and restaurants who have asked for changes outside their normal planning or licencing conditions.

“Visitors to places like Barmoor Castle spent over £1 billion in the county last year. As soon as it is safe to do so we want to welcome those visitors back with open arms.”

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