Specialist leisure team celebrate 40 years of service

Published on: 23rd August 2016

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Our specialist leisure and caravan parks division, formerly known as Edwards and Partners, is celebrating its 40th year of service to the UK caravan parks industry and with a buoyant market is looking forward to the next 40 years.

Chris Tucker, partner in our Tiverton office, commented “The Edwards and Partners story began 40 years ago in a single office in Exeter, Devon servicing caravan park clients throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The company’s first completed sale was Maustin Park at Kearby near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, which was the springboard for a successful first year.”

The firms records show Maustin Park sold in November 1976 for £55,000. The park has changed considerably over the years and now comprises an award winning and high quality park operated by Larkham Leisure, a well-regarded operator with 5 holiday parks across Yorkshire. In its first year of trading Edwards and Partners sold 17 parks at prices ranging from £16,500 to £80,000. The average value in 1976 was just £50,000 which compares to an average value in the region of £1.5m in recent years, a thirty fold increase.

Adam Burkinshaw, partner in our York office added: “As our market share grew, and in response to customer demand, Edwards and Partners opened an office in North Yorkshire in 1997. This enabled the company to enhance its national coverage to the growing number of parks across North Wales, the north of England and Scotland.”

“In its early years Edwards and Partners concentrated mainly on agency work, although the demand for professional valuations and other consultancy services has supported further growth and the need for additional staff. Joining Sanderson Weatherall further enhanced the company’s service offering and provided a very solid base for the next 40 years. Edwards and Partners is now part of a truly national firm, quite a change from that first year in Exeter.”

Over the last 40 years Edwards and Partners has successfully dealt with over 1,500 park sales and estimate its experts have visited around two thirds of all caravan parks in England, Scotland and Wales.

Chris commented “One of the most pleasing aspects of my many years in this sector is the high level of repeat business from satisfied customers. In some cases we have sold the same park four times, albeit 10 years apart.

“The past 40 years has seen the company, and the park industry as a whole, continue to prosper. As it stands the market remains buoyant and the demand for parks in good locations is outstripping supply. Brexit may be creating some uncertainty in many markets, but the UK holiday market and the residential park home sector has always been robust. In the wake of significant world events we are sure that park operators will, as always, be well placed to capitalise on the effects of Brexit. For holidaymakers in particular, the drop in the value of sterling will make travelling abroad more expensive which can only be good for park operators and holiday businesses at home.”

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