A senior management post at Devon’s Ladram Bay Holiday Park has been filled by Steven Harper-Smith; a former Royal Marines commando who swapped the forces for a career in the leisure industry.
Harper-Smith has been appointed general manager at the popular Budleigh Salterton park which employs around 175 people during the peak season.
He will be helping to oversee Ladram Bay’s five-star operation and ensuring the day-to-day smooth running of its extensive accommodation, leisure and entertainment facilities.
Steven, aged 48, takes up his new role in an area of the country which holds happy memories of childhood holidays taken with his family when they lived in the New Forest in Hampshire.
Now it is home to him and his wife Marta and their two children Edmund (13) and Noah (12).
Steven joins Ladram Bay from a major holiday park group where he helped head-up one of its busiest operations in the West Country.
He began his parks career 17 years ago after serving for eight years as a commando in the Royal Marines, Britain’s elite amphibious fighting force.
A rugby and golfing enthusiast, Steven says he is much looking forward to working alongside directors Zoe House and Robin Carter whose family have owned Ladram Bay since the 1940s.
From a small cliff-top camping site on the Carters’ farm with its own private beach access, it has grown to become one of Devon’s largest and most celebrated parks.
Open year-round, Ladram Bay provides some 70 full-time posts to people mainly recruited locally, as well as over 100 seasonal jobs, some of which can lead to permanent positions.
The park also has its own staff training programme which helps younger people especially to develop transferable skills for careers within the tourism and leisure sector.