A popular seaside town will not be welcoming the usual hordes of visitors this year as its streets, shops and bars are left abandoned.
Brean in Somerset normally welcomes tens of thousands of holidaymakers annually and is a top choice for Brits heading to the beach for a summer getaway.
Many tourists usually flock to the town's famous Pontins Holiday Park, but this summer will be different as a major multi-year construction project has just begun at the nearby Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant – meaning the park won't be open to guests.
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Plans have been drawn up for Hinkley Point C to start generating electricity in 2026 after Hinkley Point A, the first nuclear power station at the site, stopped operating in 2000. It is currently being decommissioned.
Meanwhile, Hinkley Point B was first up and running in 1976 but stopped operating last August.
Pontins isn't the only holiday park in Brean, but it is the largest and most famous, and its temporary closure has left business owners concerned for their future.
Former pub manager Gary Reid, 61, from Brean, told the Sun: "It has the feel of a one-horse town where even the horse has left. At this time of year it’s never very busy but we are fearful for the coming season.
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"Pontins had a weekly turnover of 3,000 people coming into the resort and although there are many caravan sites around the loss of so many visitors and their spending power will be huge."
Meanwhile Dan Dare, 57, an ex-motorbike stunt rider from nearby Weston-super-Mare told the publication: "Whenever I ride into Brean, The Specials song 'Ghost Town' always comes into my head.
"I think that the loss of so many tourists will have a massive effect on small shop keepers in the area."
While the work is going on, Pontins is set to be refurbished before workers from Hinkley Point C move in, with as many as 900 expected to be housed in the park by the end of the year, reports SomersetLive.
The first members of staff have already moved in following a successful application from EDF Energy to Sedgemoor District Council to change the use of the camp.
But the move isn't permanent and the upgrades to the park will also get the resort spick and span for future Pontins guests to enjoy when it reopens to the public in three years' time.
Improvement works include upgrading the 600 onsite chalets and the installation of WiFi.
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