Wyboston Lakes

The Wyboston Lakes Resort Senior Management Team (SMT) have together carried the business through a year of unexpected difficult issues such that now the business is well-placed for the recovery phase. After furloughing all but the skeleton staff, (and later having to make 25 per cent of staff redundant because there was virtually no income) the Managing Director and 11 Executive Directors and General Managers took a ‘hands-on’ approach to keep the business running, to prepare to operate events safely and be ready for the recovery period. As a result, the venue was among the first to introduce a Safe Events plan (it was adopted by IACC as best practice) and gained three safe venue accreditations after installing temperature checking technology, comprehensive medical grade hygiene, safety protocols and social distancing. Simultaneously, they took a ‘hands-on’ approach to helping the NHS run essential training for key workers and later other clients as well. The attitude and quality of service has been praised by the NHS among several testimonials. Nonetheless, they continued with a major refurbishment programme for The Willows Training Centre which was finished on schedule, and the team also maintained their commitment to introducing innovations to increase the sustainability of the venues and reduce their carbon footprint. Despite being virtually unable to trade (apart from supporting key workers and a brief period in the summer), limiting it to 40% of its budgeted income, the team minimised losses to much less than the £4m forecast at the start of lockdown. With every reassurance in place, the venue has received many bookings for events and teambuilding from major corporates and associations, so prospects look good. Throughout this difficult period, including having to make many staff redundant, the SMT supported each other both physically and mentally and are now more united than ever.