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CBI Director visits new Center Parcs in Bedfordshire

Press release   •   Feb 03, 2014 00:00 GMT

On Friday 31st January, John Cridland, Director General of the CBI visited the new Center Parcs site, Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire.

After more than 10 years in the planning, the £250m project is now just a few months from completion and adds to the company's four successful UK Villages. Once open, Woburn Forest will provide 1,500 jobs, many of which will be offered to people from the local area, inject approximately £20m into the local economy and will welcome more than 200,000 guests each year.

During the tour, the CBI Director General was shown the main leisure buildings; The Plaza and the Subtropical Swimming Paradise as well as the lodges which are almost complete and The Lake where guests will be able to enjoy watersports. Updates on how the project is going from construction to recruitment and early indications of the business performance since Woburn Forest bookings went live were also discussed.

John Cridland, CBI Director General said:

“Center Parcs has shown the value of investing in its business and has created many jobs during this construction phase, with the promise of more to come.

“With greater numbers of visitors to the region expected in the years ahead, there is a real opportunity for local supply chains to also get a boost.”

Martin Dalby, Center Parcs CEO said:

“This is a really exciting time for Center Parcs. We have four very successful Villages in the UK which are full all year round and with Woburn Forest just a few months from opening, we are about to take the Center Parcs experience to even more families.”

Woburn Forest will be Center Parcs’ fifth Village and is set to open in the spring. For more information, visit:

Contact information

Jessica Marshall-Pearce, Press Officer

Telephone: 01623 821723


Notes to Editors

  1. Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
  2. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
  3. Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  4. The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
  5. This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
  6. Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
  7. Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row