Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort's best practice article

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.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Financial Director DonnaCopley
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.
»CEO: David Copley
»Financial Director:
»Founded in 1998
»Based outside Dundee
»Services: Holiday park
providing accommodation,
functions and leisure facilities
»No. of employees: 158
»No. of clients: 9,000 annually
Piperdam Golf &
Leisure Resort
Situated on the edge of the
regenerated city of Dundee, we are
benefiting from investment in the
area. The new V&A museum cost
£80million, 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
Angus countryside
Main leisure complex
and reception
During this
period, the
rediscovered the
joys and
benefits of the
newly termed
Highlighting best practice
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
customers’ expectations.
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.
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
The perfect wedding
venue in Dundee


This article was sponsored by Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister