Family-Owned Favourite: Don Amott Leisure Ltd

Don Amott Leisure Ltd specialises in selling and servicing caravans and motorhomes from its 24-acre show ground at Hilton, near Derby. It’s part of the Don Amott Leisure Group, which also includes five Lincolnshire holiday parks and four residential parks.

It remains a family business with three generations of the Amott family still working within the group. Its holding company, Broadoak Systems, was a new entrant to the Top 200 last year, has risen eight places in this year’s list, and we know it’s going to rise even higher in next year’s! That’s why we’re giving it a special ‘Family-Owned Favourite’ award.

Aerial shot of Don Amott Leisure site at Hilton
Don Amott Leisure's site in Hilton

Celebrating 60 years

Don Amott Leisure is celebrating 60 years in business this year. Don Amott senior founded the company in 1963 and Don Amott junior (now 74) started working in the business in 1965, when he left school. He eventually took over the reins when his father died in 1975 and diversified the business, buying holiday parks in the 1980s, which are now run by Don Amott Parks Ltd, based in Lincolnshire.

Don is still the owner and figurehead of Don Amott Leisure Ltd, but the day-to-day running is now handled by John Broderick, MD. It’s become one of the UK's largest dealers of new and used motorhomes. The firm still upholds the philosophy set by its founder 60 years ago: to offer excellent quality, the lowest possible prices and above all, to make customers your friends.

When interviewed by Derby Telegraph about the 60-year anniversary, Don said:

"I sometimes make decisions about the business, and I find myself wondering even now if that is what my father would do. I like to think that he would approve of what we have done with the business he was so smart to start, and without his foresight we wouldn't be holding this diamond celebration. He is the man we have to thank for everything. And to think they told him, it wouldn't last!"

34th fastest growing company in the East Midlands

Don Amott Leisure Ltd (through its holding company, Broadoak Systems) has recently ranked 34th out of 200 in the latest EM200 report: a prestigious series of annual business reports initiated by financial analyst Grant Thornton UK LLP. The EM200 2023 has determined the 200 fastest growing companies in the East Midlands, over a three-year period from 2020 to 2023.

Don Amott with daughter, Sam Heap

It is great for our achievement to be recognised in this way. We’ll continue with the same energy, passion and drive that have played a key role in our growth over the last few years.

Don Amott
Pictured here with daughter Sam Heap, MD of Don Amott Parks

Giving back to the community

Don is a sports enthusiast and through sport, he regularly ‘gives back’ to the local community. Over the last 20 years, Don has been chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, served as a board member of both Derby County and Burton Albion, and he is now chairman of Mickleover FC. It was for these services to local sport that the University of Derby awarded Don an honorary doctorate in 2012.

To celebrate the company’s diamond anniversary, this year Don Amott Leisure Ltd offered to supply any local, amateur football team with a complete kit. Clubs were asked to nominate one of their teams that they felt best deserved the donation, and why. Eight teams were successful, and the kits are now in production for the 2023/24 season. Don said:

"I have lived in Derby all my life – originally coming from Chaddesden – and fortunate enough to have been successful in business. But now, at my age, I want to put something back into the community I love. So, for me it’s a bit like pay-back time. As a company, we are always open to requests for help from any local sports clubs or charities.”