Work commences on 6th Center Park scheme as rumours emerge on Derbyshire Forest Holidays buyout

Center Parks – one of Nottinghamshire’s greatest success stories – has begun creating its sixth Center Parcs holiday village; in Ireland.

The Nottinghamshire company, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, formally marked the start of the £210m project at Longford Forest this week.

The ceremony comes as rumours that the Ollerton based company is also looking to buy Forest Holidays, which has its central support office in Moira, Derbyshire.

Center Parcs CEO Martin Dalby was joined by Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, David Stevenson Edmond Shipway’s Managing Director and Project Director Ross Crowcroft, for a sod-cutting ceremony.

The development will be based on a 400-acre site and is expected to be complete by the summer of 2019.

Mr Dalby said the occasion was a “key milestone” in the construction of Center Parcs Longford Forest.

“It is full steam ahead now and already we have over 130 construction workers onsite who are preparing for the main construction phase,” he said.

“We have always said that this project would have a transformative effect on the Midlands and we are already seeing signs of the positive economic impact that Center Parcs will bring to the region.

“The project is on track and we very much look forward to introducing the Center Parcs short break experience to Irish families in the summer of 2019.”

Mr Varadkar said: “This exciting development by Center Parcs represents a significant investment in the Irish economy, and especially in tourism.

“The investment is almost certainly the biggest in the region’s history.

“I want to pay tribute to Center Parcs for the way it has engaged with the local community in and around Ballymahon.

“I know a strong effort has been made to keep people informed on the project as it progressed and I look forward to regular updates on this exciting project in the future.”