Follow Center Parcs

Local coach company joins up with Center Parcs’ new Village

Press release   •   Mar 24, 2014 00:00 GMT

Flitwick-based coach company Grant Palmer Limited and Center Parcs have teamed up to improve the public transport connection to Center Parcs’ new Village, Woburn Forest, which is set to open in the spring.

Center Parcs first contacted Grant Palmer six months ago when recruitment for the new team was well underway, to work with the existing bus service, the number 42, which currently serves Bedford, Elstow, Ampthill, Flitwick, Houghton Regis and Dunstable. The project also involved planning for a new chartered service for Center Parcs Housekeepers to get to work on Mondays and Fridays, the holiday Village’s changeover days.

The Center Parcs HR and Purchasing teams have been working with Grant Palmer with route planning for both services for many months and have agreed a contract which is expected to provide an economic boost to the local transport service. As well as financial benefits, the services will reduce the number of vehicles to Woburn Forest, will be more sustainable, reduce the number of cars on the local roads, provide flexible travel for the Housekeeping team and will also better utilise the existing services provided by the bus company to the local area.

The new journey for bus 42 and the Center Parcs chartered service for Housekeepers has already begun and is expected to take hundreds of staff to work at the new Center Parcs Village for the foreseeable future. The bus service also works in tandem with a new cycle route which was created when Center Parcs started building Woburn Forest in 2012. This will provide staff living locally with the option to either use public transport or cycle to work.

Grant Palmer, Managing Director of Grant Palmer Limited said:

“As a locally owned and operated Bus company we are delighted to be involved in this exciting project which will enhance the public transport connections within the local area. We have seen continued growth on our 42 and 44 bus services within the Flitwick and Ampthill area and now with additional journeys due to our partnership with Center Parcs, I'm sure this will continue.”

Samantha Stevenson, Assistant Category Buyer at Center Parcs said:

“Our company has a strong ethos of protecting the environment but also looking after our team and the local area. This has been true on all of our Villages and we are pleased to now be providing good public transport and sustainable transport options to the new team at Woburn Forest. We have been committed to working with local suppliers wherever possible and are pleased to be working with Grant Palmer to bring colleagues living locally into work using local services.”

Grant Palmer Limited was established in 1999 and provides a number of bus services throughout Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Center Parcs has four Villages in the UK, with the fifth Village, Woburn Forest, due to open in spring 2014. The main recruitment campaign for the new Village began in summer 2013 and is now almost complete with more than 90% of the team for Woburn Forest coming from within 15 miles of the site.

Contact information

Jessica Marshall-Pearce, Press Officer

Telephone: 01623 821723


Sustainability facts and figures

Committed to enhancing the forest and wider environment, Center Parcs aims to be one of the leading sustainable ‘Large Scale Tourist Destinations’ in the UK.  The Center Parcs Sustainability Strategy, launched in 2011, promises to reduce Center Parcs carbon emissions by 20% and produce 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  Center Parcs currently uses a variety of different energy saving choices including:

  • New and refreshed accommodation projects have included environmentally efficient technology such as:
    • Ground source heating
    • Solar panels
    • Photovoltaic
    • Combined heat and power plants
    • Energy-saving LED lighting
    • Water-efficient showers
    • Low-energy kitchen appliances
    • Intelligent thermostats
  • Electric vehicle fleet for housekeeping and technical services

Center Parcs is investing in energy efficiency and renewable technologies - such as District Heating - to achieve the aim of consuming 25% less than the average existing Center Parcs village. 

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