Holiday brand Pontin's hits trouble
There are fears for the future of one of Britain's most iconic holiday brands after Pontin's was put into administration.
In a surprise move, advisory firm KPMG was appointed administrator to the holiday company, which employs 850 staff in the UK.
No redundancies have been made and all five sites - Brean Sands in Somerset, Camber Sands, Sussex, Pakefield, Suffolk, Prestatyn Sands in Wales and Southport, Merseyside - will continue to cater for customers as normal.
KPMG said it is optimistic of finding a buyer and hopes the Pontin's name would live on. The business was started in 1946 by Fred Pontin and at one point had 30 holiday parks.
A spokeswoman for KPMG said the company had run out of cash because bookings had fallen drastically in the past year.
Pontin's slide into administration has come as a surprise as many UK holiday companies have benefited in recent years from more people taking trips in Britain rather than abroad because of the weak pound.
The administrator plans to appoint an "experienced leisure operator" to help it run the company until a buyer can be found, and has pledged to honour all reservations.
Bob Atkinson, a travel expert at TravelSupermarket.com, said he is "amazed" Pontin's has gone into administration, describing it as "an iconic British brand and a stalwart of the British holiday industry".
He said: "If Pontin's were to close down it would remove a significant number of competitively-priced short breaks from the more economic end of the market."
Mr Atkinson said it was difficult to speculate as to the cause of Pontin's entering into administration, but added that competition outside of the peak season may have damaged the company.