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Holder Mathias’ £250 million Center Parcs scheme starts on site

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Holder Mathias’ £250 million project to build the UK’s Center Parcs resort will start on site in the next few weeks

Holder Mathias is designing the scheme’s two central buildings at Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire

The construction phase will last approximately two years, with a scheduled opening date set for spring 2014.

Peter Gamble, managing director of Holder Mathias, said: ‘We are extremely excited about being involved in this project, one of the largest construction projects in 2012, representing a major investment in the UK leisure industry as well as a significant boost to the UK economy.

‘Having been involved from the early stages, we were able to use our design skills and experience in this sector to help secure planning and ensure this project got the go-ahead. We have been careful to ensure the impact of the two central buildings on the surrounding countryside is minimised, designing them to fit into a strict three-dimensional envelope so that they cannot be seen from outside the site and so that, despite their size, they settle into the woodland.’

Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby said: ‘I am delighted to be moving ahead with the construction of our new site at Woburn, which will bring significant benefits for both our guests and the wider economy. This is our 25th year of operation and Center Parcs is trading strongly, with occupancy rates of around 97 per cent throughout 2011 and positive forward booking trends for 2012, as guests continue to respond positively to the high quality holiday experience we offer.

‘The addition of a fifth site, made possible by the strong support offered by Blackstone and our four lending banks, further enhances our geographic footprint in the UK. As we begin construction at Woburn and continue our investment programme in the existing villages, I am confident we can continue to deliver both a first class experience for our guests and continue our track record of profitable growth.’

Holder Mathias worked on Center Parcs’ 160 hectare Whinfell Forest project in Penrith, Cumbria. The £125 million project received the Department of Environment’s Major Project of the Year Award when it opened in the late nineties.

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