John Morphet flies into Fenland to announce purchase of caravan park near Long Sutton
EXCLUSIVE by: TOM JACKSON LEISURE entrepreneur John Morphet has expanded his fast-growing empire in the Fens by buying a caravan park near Long Sutton as part of a �10million deal. Mr Morphet, who is worth �84million and features in The Times Rich
EXCLUSIVE by: TOM JACKSON
LEISURE entrepreneur John Morphet has expanded his fast-growing empire in the Fens by buying a caravan park near Long Sutton as part of a �10million deal.
Mr Morphet, who is worth �84million and features in The Times Rich List, swooped by helicopter into Tydd St Giles Golf Club yesterday to announce the deal.
His company, Pure Leisure Group, has bought Silverhill near Lutton Gowts, Long Sutton, as well as Orchard Caravan Holiday Home Park near Chapel Hill, Lincoln; and Lakeside near Alford, Mablethorpe.
Work to revamp all three parks is set to start straight away. Lutton Gowts, where there is permission for 88 caravans, is set to be completed by spring next year.
Mr Morphet, who bought Tydd St Giles Golf Club last year, described the purchase as offering “a complete package” and said: “We’ve now got something for everyone.
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“People who visit Silverline to buy a home but want something bigger and better can now come to Tydd, and if people can’t afford something at Tydd but want a top-end caravan home for a quarter of the price.”
He added: “We have now got four parks within sensible driving distance of each other all offering something different – sport and leisure, retirement homes, countryside and seaside.”
Mr Morphet arrived at Tydd St Giles via his luxury helicopter, a Eurocopter EC-155. It is believed there are only three others owned in this country – one of them by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club.
But Mr Morphet – who earlier this year described the Fens as having a “unique climate” because it never rains when he visits – said work on the new leisure centre at Tydd St Giles has been delayed slightly due to the recession.
“It was prudent to move our money elsewhere and buy other parks because they represented better value for money,” he said. “Work would probably have started in March 2010, but that won’t start until next summer now with a view to opening in February 2011.
“It is still on the cards and I am very, very much for it. But it made more sense to put our money into more parks at this time to cement the future of the group in this area.”
Talks are also taking place with Fenland District Council about building golf villas down one side of the golf course at Tydd.