A MAJOR redevelopment at Butlins could bring 75 jobs to Minehead.

The popular tourist resort has submitted plans to West Somerset Council to replace 169 unused chalets built in the 1960s with 117 one- and two-storey holiday units, alongside parking.

The project affects just over 5% of the existing holiday units at the camp, where there are just over 2,000 holiday units that can cater for about 7,500 people, excluding day visitors.

The £12million scheme, on a 9.3-acre site on the southern boundary of the Butlins site near the West Somerset Railway line, could be completed by spring 2014 if it gets the go-ahead.

Managing director Julian Highfield said: “Part of our site is very much in need of regeneration and we want to replace some of our older accommodation to improve the experience of visiting Butlins at Minehead.

“The plans will provide a range of modern holiday accommodation that will better meet the requirements of our visitors.

“Butlins Minehead remains a popular tourist destination but we need to invest in its future to make sure that it remains attractive to visitors.

“I believe this £12 million investment in Minehead will help to maximise Butlins’ contribution to the local economy, not least by providing up to 75 new job opportunities.”

Minehead Chamber of Commerce chairman Graham Sizer welcomed the plans.

He said: “We were wondering whether rumours about large redevelopments at Butlins would happen, and now announced, it couldn't come at a better time.

“Butlins have been active Chamber members and partners in so many events and initiatives in recent years but this will dwarf any previous action they have taken to give Minehead a boost.

“From a jobs perspective it is good. Local building suppliers will benefit but the most positive effect will be felt by those businesses reliant on tourism and it should lastlong-term.

“While some may have been wondering whether the new Hinkley power station would dampen visitor numbers, this decision from our biggest attractor should melt the sceptics away.”

Representatives from Butlins will be available to discuss the plans at a public exhibition in the Ballroom of The Hobby Horse in The Esplanade on April 16 from 1pm to 8pm.

To see the application, visit www.westsomerset.gov.uk/online-applications and search for 3/21/13/039.