M&IT Magazine – Ready to go! Venues across UK eyeing July reopening

Venues across the country are unveiling their strategies for reopening their doors following the government’s announcement that certain hospitality businesses may be able to operate from July.
Among the venues and venue groups preparing for lockdown to be lifted, Make Venues has committed to being ‘ready to go’ from early July, while Wyboston Lakes Resort has launched Safe Events, a comprehensive plan for a safe reopening. And the Victory Services Club in London has announced an extensive list of measures to be undertaken to ensure that the venue is prepared to open again for social distanced meetings.

Make Venues, which was one of the first to close its doors early in the spring, is now committed to reopening them, alongside government guidelines, as soon as possible.
“Although the lockdown has been devastating for the industry, we’ve remained positive and productive,” said David Vaughton, MD, Make Venues. “We have a new strategy that will serve our customers, and their delegates, well in a post shut down world, and we are making investments that support upweighted technological capacity and hardware, and operational promises we’ll be making around cleanliness. They will all be ready for when we return.”

Steve Jones, MD of Wyboston Lakes Resort, one of the largest independent venues in the UK said: “We have approached this situation with extreme caution and have been working tirelessly on preparing our venues to be ready to re-open in the safest way possible. Our new policy includes an extensive range of measures, including physical barriers, signage, training and technology, such as self-check in terminals and cashless payments only and heightened and intensive hygiene.

“In the weeks prior to lockdown, and during our closure, we introduced strict additional cleaning regimes to do all that we could to help stop transmission of this virus. Given the ever-changing nature of this situation our policy will also keep evolving to ensure it remains up to date, relevant and effective.”

The Victory Services Club in Marble Arch has successfully been operating as a key worker hotel since March, providing over the period more than 2,500 bedrooms, and has already implemented many of the social distancing measures needed to host guests.

Mark Field, operations director at the Victory Services Club, said: “When we are allowed to re-open, the club will be implementing significant operational changes including a considerable investment in thermal scanners at each entrance to identify anyone entering the building with a temperature. We have developed new operating procedures, reviewed each of our large event spaces to re-calculate seating capacities, created a menu of individually packed executive meals, implemented an enhanced cleaning regime, and delivered advanced staff training. We will be reviewing our packages and charging a day delegate rate, which sensibly reflects the delivery of our highly regarded service, including new catering options. Naturally, this is an ongoing process and will be updated in line with Government announcements and industry best practice.”