A surge in staycations brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted owners of a popular Aberdeenshire holiday park to put forward plans to expand its site.
Extension plans for Ecclesgreig Holiday Park, in St Cyrus, have been unveiled in a bid to extend the “thriving” facility.
SDR (Scotland) bought the disused and derelict plot in December 2017 and have managed to get the facility back into use following several years of redevelopment.
The holiday park currently has 28 holiday home plots, two glamping pods with hot tubs and four touring pitches.
But the park owners recently purchased additional land to the north west of the site and are hoping to more than double its capacity now their current location is full.
It is hoped that, if approved, the extension would create wider economic benefits to the region, especially to neighbouring towns and villages and attractions.
The plans, lodged with Aberdeenshire Council, would create 11 additional touring pitches, five holiday lodges and 29 static pitches added on to the holiday park.
New shower and toilet facilities, a picnic area and play park would also be added.
Work hoped to be able to start as soon as possible
If the plans are approved the owners hope to start the extension works as soon as possible, with an aim to complete the project within six months.
It is also anticipated the development would lead to the creation of six full and part time positions over the next five years.
The extension plans come after a “rollercoaster” year for the business.
Manager Stuart Rose said: “Before Covid it was great as we were still relatively new and fully booked, and off the back of that we were getting bookings months in advance.
“We had to close because of Covid but since reopening again it has been mad. We are booked up for the rest of the year.”
Benefit to the wider community
He added that the decision to expand the park came due to the continued interest in the park and the increasing number of bookings.
Mr Rose believes that the area will “benefit greatly” from the proposed extension as he explained: “The footfall from tourists will increase drastically, especially at the local café and pub that had to shut due to Covid.
“It will be good for the village and not just us. Surrounding businesses will benefit off the back of this too.”
He suggested that the increase in visitors to the area could even extend to nearby Johnshaven and Gourdon.
If the plans are approved the business hopes to get the local community involved with planting trees on the site.
It is also looking to build a polytunnel in the future with an aim to get local schools involved with planting at the miniature nursery.
Mr Rose added that he was “excited” about the proposals and said: “I am looking forward to the decision, I hope it is a good one.
“We are eager to get the work started and get people here as soon as possible.”