Hunstanton resort chief given top national role

Paul Searle
Paul Searle

Hunstanton businessman Paul Searle has become the new national chairman of the association which reprsents Britain’s holiday parks.

Mr Searle, managing director of Searles Leisure Resort, has taken over at the top of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association (BHHPA)

The organisation brings together the owners and managers of some 3,000 UK park businesses, ranging from small farm-based camping sites to major holiday park groups.

In his new role, Paul, 46, will take on a range of responsibilities including liaison with EU and UK bodies on matters which affect the parks industry.

It’s a task for which he is well qualified having served as BH&HPA’s vice chairman for the past two years, as well as being director of its East Anglia branch.

As MD of Searles Leisure Resort, Paul heads one of Norfolk’s largest and most popular holiday centres in partnership with his brother Andrew and sister Joanna.

The family business was founded in 1954 by Paul’s grandfather, Geoffrey, and began life as a modest touring park serving visitors to Hunstanton.

Today, Searles provides more than 500 privately- owned and rented caravan holiday homes and lodges, as well as 300-plus touring pitches plus luxury timber camping pods.

The park employs about 200 people, plus 50 staff at its Heacham Manor hotel.

The park has announced that the 2017 season will open with £1 million worth of additional activities which are being introduced over this winter.

Mr Searles said: “Ours is an incredibly diverse industry, bringing together businesses of all sizes from long-established family-owned enterprises such as ours, to major holiday park groups.”

“What binds us together, however, is a common goal – and it’s that of constantly evolving, and refining the standard of the services and facilities we offer to customers.”

He follows his father, Richard, who served as BH&HPA national chairman from 1995 to 1997, and who was appointed MBE for his services to tourism in 2001.