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Harrison Leisure UK snaps up Lancs country club & caravan park

Harrison Leisure UK has added the purchase of Rawcliffe Hall Country Club and Caravan Park in Lancashire to its growing family business for an undisclosed sum via Colliers.

The well-established 42.7-acre park is developed with 233 caravan and lodge pitches, the 12th century Rawcliffe Hall (pictured) offers bars and various leisure facilities, and six cottages.

Located in a rural location around ten miles inland of Blackpool, the site has been under the same family ownership since 1993.

Rawcliffe becomes Harrison Leisure’s eighth holiday park in a portfolio that includes parks across the North West, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Northumberland.

Billy Harrison, Managing Director of Harrison Leisure UK, said, “We are excited to take over such a well-established business and look forward to operating the park to the highest of standards for decades to come.

'We have some exciting plans for the property but the ethos of operating a successful family business and high levels of customer satisfaction will always remain at the core.'

David Bagot, former owner, added, “As a family we are delighted to be handing over the business, which has meant so much to us, to another family who we believe have a similar ethos; it is good to know we are leaving it and the people within it in safe hands.

'On behalf of four generations of the Bagot family who have owned Rawcliffe Hall since 1937, I would like to thank all of the many clients who have given us their support over the years, and also the staff for their loyalty and hard work.

'This has been a complex transaction and we are very grateful for the support we have received from our advisors at Colliers, HD and Azets.”

Richard Moss. Head of UK Parks Agency at Colliers, said, “We’re thrilled to have arranged this sale on behalf of the retiring partners. Rawcliffe Hall has built a strong reputation with its customers and the exceptional level of market popularity we experienced is largely down to the tranquil rural setting, combined with consumer demand and a scarcity of stock on the market.”

The parks sector has seen substantial activity in the last year or so, with the arrival of private equity heavyweights Blackstone (acquired Bourne Leisure for c.£3bn) and CVC (acquired Away Resorts for a reported £250m before adding Aria Resorts and Coppergreen to their portfolio).

The arrival of Sun Communities who finalised the acquisition of Park Holidays for a reported £950m last month has added a further US presence in the market, alongside Cove UK who added the acquisition of Argyll Holidays from Colliers earlier this year to their purchase of Bunn Leisure, one the UK’s largest holiday parks, in 2019.

Moss added, “The parks sector is an interesting marketplace currently as private equity giants, overseas investors, family offices and expanding private family businesses all jostle for position – at Colliers we’re looking to match the best buyer to our client’s needs whilst ensuring the trading business is able to continue.”