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The SandbankQ&A with General Manager, Mark Ferry
Earlier this year, Park Holidays UK announced the opening of The Sandbank, a £1.2 million pub and restaurant investment at West Mersea Holiday Park. The complex will be available to owners, holiday guests and the public for the 2021 season, and promises a relaxing atmosphere with added entertainment when it counts. In this Q&A, the General Manager of the park, Mark Ferry, unveils his plans for the business …
Hi Mark, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role, regarding the new pub and restaurant, The Sandbank?
I am originally from Newcastle and have been living in Essex for the last 3 years. I am the General Manager of not only The Sandbank, but also of West Mersea Holiday Park (on behalf of Park Holidays UK Ltd). I will have a manager in place who will oversee the daily operation of The Sandbank, Aaron Leith, who has worked for Park Holidays for many years and will continue in his role as the Retail Manager as he did last year when the bar/restaurant was named the Two Tides.
Why did you decide to rebuild the already existing clubhouse?
Even though 2020 was a tough year from a business perspective, one area of the park that performed well was the existing bar/restaurant (once Covid restrictions were lifted of course). We came to realise there was a great demand for a bar/restaurant next to the beach, however, the old building was simply too small to accommodate the demand.
How much did the rebuild program cost?
As it currently stands, we have invested £1.2 million into the development, with a further £50,000 on the play area that we have added to enhance the appeal of The Sandbank.
Why did you choose to invest in The Sandbank on Mersea Island?
The facilities that were already here (when Park Holidays purchased them back in November 2019) were dated and too small. We wanted to add a community hub not only to the park guests and holiday homeowners, but also to the wider community.
Will the The Sandbank be to the public?
Yes The Sandbank will be open to the public and all will be welcome! We will also be opening our barriers in the park every evening at 5pm, allowing access for the local community to come and make use of these fantastic new facilities.
How did you decide on the name?
Firstly, we started by asking our holiday homeowners for suggestions of what they may like the venue to be called. Myself and senior management then reviewed all of the suggestions and by adding a couple of names together we came up with The Sandbank. A very fitting name we believe, giving its close proximity to a stunning stretch of beach that runs across the length of the holiday park.
What is the general atmosphere of the pub/restaurant going to be?
It will be a very relaxed atmosphere, where everyone can come and enjoy a quiet drink or meal. We will be providing entertainment throughout the year and this can range from someone playing a musical instrument on a Sunday afternoon, to a cabaret singer on Saturday evenings. For those of you who like sports, you do not need to worry - we will have Sky and BT Sports and will be showing some major sporting events. Let's not forget to mention the pool table that is currently being installed!
Will there be parking?
Yes we will be providing parking each evening from 5pm. This will be through the park's main barrier and will be the only entrance.
Have you got anything else you would like to add?
Just that I can’t wait for The Sandbank to open and welcome all of our lovely guests!
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