The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
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48 | PIPERDAM GOLF & LEISURE RESORT
Financial Director DonnaCopley
Stunning 18-hole course at
Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort are a part of Coppergreen
Developments and are committed to providing a high-
quality service to all their clients. Boosted by recent growth
in the popularity of the “staycation”, they aim to nurture their
workforce and improve every aspect of their holiday parks.
Piperdam Resort is located on the edge of Dundee and has
benefited from the large amount of investment that has recently
been allocated to the area. Financial Director Donna Copley
explains how they have weathered economic fluctuations and
how they are preparing for the future.
The return of the “staycation”
Holiday parks are a sector of the leisure industry that has changed relatively
little since its inception at the turn of the 20th century. It has survived economic
fluctuations and thrived during the global financial crisis of 2008. During this
period, the market rediscovered the joys and benefits of the newly termed
“staycation”. It has been boosted by its nature as an alternative to the painful
experience of air travel. A market woke up and realised that what it wanted was
under its nose all along.
There have been a few developments over the years, like the addition of electricity
and running water and a slight increase to the size of basic accommodation. The
technological advances of the last 20 years, however, have made little impact. Wifi
is still a luxury in this rural industry.
PIPERDAM GOLF &
»CEO: David Copley
»Founded in 1998
»Based outside Dundee
»Services: Holiday park
functions and leisure facilities
»No. of employees: 158
»No. of clients: 9,000 annually
Piperdam Golf &
49PIPERDAM GOLF & LEISURE RESORT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Situated on the edge of the
regenerated city of Dundee, we are
benefiting from investment in the
area. The new V&A museum cost
£80million, and the redevelopment
of the waterfront required an
investment in the area of £1 billion.
We offer short-break holidays, typically
three or four nights, and, following
the investment in Dundee, this
accommodation is highly sought after.
Holiday parks are about people.
We are part of Coppergreen
Developments, and the aim of our
group is to raise the overall quality
of available holidays. We achieve this
through training and empowering
our staff, ensuring that they deliver
exceptional customer service. The focus
of this is to ensure that every member
of staff understands the importance of
the customer journey. Employees are
our most expensive resource and our
most valuable asset.
There are roughly 4,500 holiday parks
in the UK, with less than 10 per cent
in the hands of big businesses. The
remainder are owned by individuals
of varying backgrounds, including
farmers, retirees and travellers. We aim
to set ourselves apart by drawing from
the professionalism of other industries,
like hotels and restaurant chains,
where a high and consistent level of
service is delivered.
Collaborating to improve our
Our directors have forged a close
relationship with Hoseasons, the
leading marketing and booking agents
for holiday rental properties, who
work with roughly 1,500 holiday parks
throughout the UK. We listened to their
advice and were guided by their market
research to better understand the
demands of the consumer. With their
assistance, we intend to increase our
EU inbound traffic. As accommodation
providers, we are acutely aware of the
disadvantage of our current 20 per cent
VAT rate. Other EU accommodation
and food and beverage providers have
rates of roughly 10 per cent. Luckily,
the weak pound is currently helping
to mitigate this, but how long that will
last is anyone’s guess.
Set in 650 acres of idyllic
Main leisure complex
benefits of the
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
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50 | PIPERDAM GOLF & LEISURE RESORT
Key to the consumer’s needs is a
level of accommodation that is at
least as good as they have at home
and preferably better. They want to
experience things they don’t have
time or access to in their daily lives.
Finally, they want service. To deliver
this, we have invested in high-level
accommodation, a variety of facilities
and equipment, and 158 members
of staff. In addition to cleaning,
maintenance and reception staff, we
need trained experts to facilitate our
park services: leisure staff, grounds
staff, golf professionals for the golf
course, bar and waiting staff, and
chefs and kitchen porters. We deliver
roughly 100 weddings, conferences
or functions a year, so we also need
people to organise and market them.
None of this would be possible without
our office staff to organise and
administer the business. We have a
diversity of individuals with a plethora
of skills, who all work as a team to
deliver an experience over and above
Coppergreen Developments will
continue to invest in our employees
and improve the standards of every
aspect of all our parks. We want to
raise the profile of the industry to
attract more professionals and become
an acceptable career path, not just a
temporary job at the beginning or end
of a working life.
A difficult recruitment period
In this regard, the future looks
challenging. With low unemployment
and Brexit causing unrest for migrant
workers, we are facing the most
difficult recruitment period we have
ever experienced. Competition for
quality individuals is fierce, and remote
locations, where holiday parks typically
are, have a much smaller pool to pull
from. Competition for staff in the
area of Dundee is high. There have
been a number of new hotels in the
city centre offering jobs that are much
more accessible than us, as we are
seven miles out of the city centre on a
poorly served bus route.
Young people are a crucial part of
our workforce, often starting part
time while studying. Employing young
people has become more challenging
in recent years, with an increasing
number of issues surrounding social
media. There is a worrying trend
as younger people become more
unreliable, and this is very disruptive to
our daily routine. It has to be a concern
for every industry, not just ours, that
the future workforce is being exposed
to these challenges at such a young
age, which can make them unable to
cope with daily life.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, however.
We have had a number of successful
experiences with the apprentices we
have nurtured, including one who
is now managing a park and one
who has recently been nominated as
Apprentice of the Year. As a company,
we will continue to invest time and
energy in our young people and will
endeavour to mitigate the negative
forces in their environment.
have forged a
for holiday rental
The perfect wedding
venue in Dundee
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.