Center Parcs

Creating a beautiful tomorrow

We meet Martin Dalby, CEO, to find out why Center Parcs wanted a long-term financial partner while developing their holiday village in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire.

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Martin Dalby
Centre Parcs provide short break holidays to a very high quality. It’s all about families, it’s all about the natural environment. Woburn Forest is the newest member of the Center Parcs family. It’s stylish, it’s contemporary, it’s modern. Sustainability in terms of our business is very, very important to Center Parcs. This project, here at Woburn Forest, was probably the single biggest leisure construction project, outside of the Olympics, in the last decade or so.

Center Parcs site, and here, particularly, at Woburn, has a massive effect on the local community, and the local economy. For example, we employ over 1500 people. 93% of whom live within 15 miles of the site. Woburn Forest is a project that we’ve been working on for some ten years, so it’s been a long journey to get to where we are today. We went through a planning process that was quite elongated and, and quite challenging.

So, about three years ago we said right; now’s the time to go. And that’s at the point when we got in touch with Barclays to put together the financing, to actually enable us to construct this park. Like all relationships between companies, it’s about the people, at the end of the day.


Our relationship director, has really dedicated a huge amount of time to really get to understand the business of Center Parcs. He’s there at the end of the phone, he comes out on site visit. He’s been extremely supportive. He’s been very clever in the way he’s helped us construct the financing of this actual project.

Our relationship with Barclays is a real genuine partnership. I think it’s based on trust. It’s based on understanding. It’s based on the knowledge that both businesses have of each other.


Center Parcs offers family short breaks at UK forest locations.

Understanding Center Parcs’ vision to grow, Barclays supported the development of holiday village Woburn Forest.   

Woburn Forest has been designed as a sustainable tourism destination, with a focus on energy efficiency and ecological biodiversity.

Barclays’ proactivity, support and commitment to understand our business has been crucial in making our business sustainably fit for the future.

Martin Dalby

CEO, Center Parcs

The holiday village provided a boost to the local economy, generating 1,200 construction jobs during the two-year build, and 1,500 permanent roles for local people.

Barclays facilitates Center Parcs’ everyday corporate banking requirements, ensuring the efficient running of operations across all five villages.

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