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500 jobs in Center Parcs plan

Hundreds of jobs are to be created with one of the UK's biggest holiday firms planning to open a park at a forest in the Midlands.

Center Parcs, which operates five resorts in Britain, is to expand its operations into Ireland with more than 500 workers to be hired for the site in Ballymahon, Co Longford.

The company is to make a formal announcement of the plans tomorrow.

It is understood talks have been continuing with forestry board Coillte to build the holiday firm's distinctive woodland lodges and villas and the main complex with a swimming pool, spa, restaurant and bar.

The resort is planned for woods around Newcastle House, near the River Inny.

Center Parcs opened its fifth holiday village in the UK last summer with a £250 million resort in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, catering for around 350,000 guests a year.

In 2013 the holiday company had 1.7 million guests at four parks - Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest, near Brandon in Suffolk, Longleat Forest near Warminster in Wiltshire, and Whinfell Forest near Penrith, Cumbria.

Center Parcs is owned by asset management firm Blackstone.

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