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Amazing chance to run new holiday accommodation at world-famous site in South Downs

Amazing chance to run new holiday accommodation at world-famous site in South Downs

January 24, 2024

The famous Seven Sisters cliffs – Pic by Rudiger Nold

A unique opportunity has come up to run holiday accommodation in one of the most iconic coastal spots in the UK at the gateway to a National Park.

Suppliers are being invited to bid for an exciting three-year contract to run three holiday cottages, a camping field and camping barn – all a stone’s throw from the world-famous Seven Sisters cliffs and in a stunning country park that attracts up to a million visitors every year.

The South Downs National Park Authority is now tendering for the concession contract on behalf of South Downs Commercial Operations.

Suppliers are now being invited to an event on Thursday, 8 February at Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex, to find out more. There will be the opportunity for bidders to get a look round the accommodation and the site, as well as learn from the team about the requirements and the bidding process.

Seven Sisters Country Park is the eastern gateway to the South Downs National Park, comprising 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, meandering river valley and open chalk grassland. The famous white cliffs have been used as the backdrop for many Hollywood movies, including Harry Potter, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and most recently, Summerland. The South Downs National Park itself, Britain’s youngest National Park, attracts some 18m visitors a year and is famed for its glorious green rolling downland, enchanting woods, and misty heaths.

Set behind the Seven Sisters cliffs is a charming new holiday accommodation offer that will immerse guests into the heart of a wildlife-rich landscape, offering the opportunity “to get away from it all” and connect with nature.

The holiday offer is the latest phase of a £2m refurbishment of Seven Sisters Country Park by the South Downs National Park Authority, which unveiled a fully refurbished visitor centre two years ago after taking over the management of the country park in 2021.

The new accommodation will help to fund the ongoing conservation and nature recovery work at the country park, which is one of the last undeveloped sections along the south coast of England.

The tender is for a three-year contract, plus a possible two-year extension.

Hayley Madgwick, Procurement Manager for the South Downs National Park, said: “Seven Sisters Country Park is such a special place and this is an incredible opportunity to run holiday accommodation in a flagship National Park setting.

“We’re looking for a provider who has a passion for the South Downs, wildlife and landscape and relishes giving people the best possible visitor experience at this unique location.

“We’d like to hear from a broad range of suppliers and would encourage people to register their interest as soon as possible.”

Suppliers wishing to attend the 8 February showcase day must register their interest in advance via the SDNPA’s e-tendering portal (details below).

All documents and information can be found on our tendering portal https://in-tendhost.co.uk/southdowns/aspx/Home – register for an account and download the details.  For support and queries please email tenders@southdowns.gov.uk.

Deadline for submission of bids is Friday, 15 March 2024