Crieff Hydro enters consultation with staff, 241 employees face redundancy

Scottish Hospitality group Crieff Hydro has revealed it is in consultation with its staff with 241 employees facing redundancy.

The group which owns seven hotels including the Crieff Hydro and the Ballachulish Hotel said it is planning to shed more than quarter of its workers across the portfolio at the start of August.

It comes as the group reportedly expects its bookings for the year to be down by 30-50%. It is also suggested that the number of employees made redundant could be reduced, potentially to around half, depending on how lockdown regulations on the hospitality industry are eased and at the speed at which they are done.

Stephen Leckie, CEO and chairman of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, said: “When we closed our doors at the end of March, it was one of the darkest days in our 150 year history and this is another. The impact coronavirus has had on our industry and business has been immediate and drastic.

“As a family run business built on the strength of our people, discussing potential redundancies is the toughest step we’ve ever had to consider. I am personally devastated for every one of our team who could lose their job.”

He added: “Throughout this process we’ve done everything we can to look after our people. But despite all the measures we’ve taken so far to reduce costs, we anticipate that when we do open, bookings will be down by 30-50% for the best part of a year.

“This will amount to a revenue loss of at least £17m (50%) in the current financial year. For every month we’ve been closed with zero income, we’ve had to pay £500k just to keep our buildings safe and insured. This would have a profound effect on any business.”

Leckie also revealed the company has made use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme as well as securing an additional £5m in loans from its bank to give it “the best chance of survival”.

He continued: “We know that we have many loyal customers who visit us year after year, so we hope the recovery is quick and we can welcome families back to our own family of hotels in the coming months. The effects of this pandemic can’t last forever and our long term vision is to rebuild the team in the future when business returns.”

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