A US holiday park operator is banking on growth in UK staycations with a £150 million investment.

Cove Communities, which runs 9,250 sites across the US and Canada, is taking over West Sussex-based self-catering firm Bunn Leisure.

The deal for the 116-acre site in Selsey is the first stage in creating a larger UK-based caravan park business.

Cove Communities has been actively researching the UK caravan park sector with an eye on expansion, specifically focused on oceanfront properties.

“The business will announce any expansion as and when it happens,” a spokeswoman said.

Cove Communities UK business is being led by UK managing director Mark Seaton, son of Robert Seaton, one of the founders of Butlin’s, Haven and Warner owner Bourne Leisure.

Family-run Bunn Leisure consists of three holiday village areas and a camping and touring park alongside entertainment and other facilities.

The US firm is injecting £23 million into the site as part of an investment started under the previous owners.

The company is developing a further five-year investment programme focused on environmental management and new sea defences.

The business will employ more than 600 staff and host 11,000 holidaymakers and residents. Plans for an apprenticeship scheme for young people are being explored.

Seaton said: “Bunn Leisure is a fantastic holiday park, which we believe offers a truly unique proposition to families looking to enjoy a staycation or purchase a caravan vacation home on this beautiful stretch of accessible coastline.

“We see immense potential for the UK’s caravan, holiday and residential park sectors, supported by appropriate investment and careful strategy.

“As such we are excited by the long-term prospects for Cove Communities to further invest and enhance the unique aspects of exceptional parks such as Bunn Leisure as park of a wider UK caravan and residential park portfolio.”