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    Center Parcs is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a provider of holidays and short breaks in the UK with the launch of a new site at Woburn in Bedfordshire that will inject £250m of capital and create 2,700 jobs.

     

    The popularity of Center Parcs has endured the recent economic downturn, leading the company to embark on the construction of a fifth site. Private equity firm Blackstone – which owns Center Parcs – is investing around £100m in the project, while Lloyds Bank and three other UK banks (RBS, Barclays and HSBC) have committed to a construction loan of approximately £150m.

    The £250m investment is one of the largest projects of its type in Britain and will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, rippling through the supply chain to support medium-sized businesses, the local economy and its construction sector.

    The construction phase will employ more than 1,200 contractors and when it opens in Spring 2014, Center Parcs Woburn Forest will employ 1,500 people on a permanent basis.

    The investment is also likely to lead to spillover benefits for local mid-sized firms supplying the new village and benefiting from the additional visitor numbers to the area. A 2005 study by Hallam Environmental Consultants and Sheffield Hallam University, found that the average expenditure by the company with suppliers located within 20 miles of a Center Parcs village was £3.89m.

    When economic multipliers were applied, this gave a local impact of £4.28m and a regional effect of £5.83m. Extra local spending by guests was estimated to come to an additional £870,000 a year (in 2005 value terms).

     

    Sustainable growth

    The project also fits with the Government’s target for green investment and reduction in carbon emissions. Center Parcs has said that Woburn Forest will be an “exemplary sustainable  tourism destination”. It is investing in energy efficiency and renewable technologies, including a biomass-powered district heating system and solar panels, in order to meet its target of consuming 25% less energy than the average existing village. 

     

    FUNDING EXPERTISE

    In February 2012, Center Parcs UK undertook a whole business securitisation and high yield bond which refinanced existing liabilities and enabled the planned fifth resort site at Woburn. The funding is backed by cash flows generated by the four UK-based Center Parcs holiday resorts. Lloyds Bank’s Asset Backed Solutions and Corporate Debt Capital Market teams acted as Joint Lead Managers and priced the £1.02bn UK Whole Business Securitisation/High Yield new issue.

7/18/2019 1:39:30 AM