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2 September 2020


Following months of unprecedented change and uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, The Crichton Trust has this week released news of its ambition to build back better.

Like most businesses and third sector organisations, 2020 has presented The Crichton Trust with significant challenges, but despite the ongoing uncertainty, The Crichton Trust is determined to overcome the challenges and has signed up to the Build Back Better pledge, as a sign of their commitment to protect the long-term sustainability of The Crichton and its people.

The Crichton Trust has been generous and flexible in their efforts to help staff, customers and tenants to adapt to the challenges they have faced as a result of the pandemic to date.

In recent weeks, Trustees and Executives have been proactively reviewing strategic plans and operations at The Crichton, in order to ensure the organisation remains resilient and able to adapt to emerging pressures, challenges and opportunities in the longer-term.

The Events and Hospitality sector has been severely impacted by the restrictions and safety measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus. With the ongoing uncertainty regarding the future of large-scale events and gatherings, Easterbrook Hall will remain closed until late March 2021, with the exception of supporting the regional response to Covid-19.

Changes to working patterns and more people working from home, has also resulted in a reduced footfall from office workers.  With fewer workers, no events trade and no spa members on site, The Crichton Trust has only been offering a limited hospitality service from Easterbrook Takeaway and Outdoor Bar since the end of July.  Although, this has proved popular with those who are working and exercising on site, The Trust is not yet in a position to scale-up provision at Easterbrook Bistro.

As a consequence of these short-term pressures, the Trust has recently agreed to enter into a period of consultation with members of our Venues team on a proposed Venues restructure.  Regrettably, this may result in a small number of redundancies and new working patterns for some colleagues within the Venues team in the short-term.  However, by making these changes now, it is hoped that The Crichton Trust will be in a stronger position to reshape hospitality services from 2021 onwards.

Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust said: “This has been a challenging year for everyone and as a Trust, we have tried to put the safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers first. With the ongoing uncertainty and growing financial pressures, it is with regret, that we now find ourselves entering a restructuring process and putting jobs at risk.  We will continue to support our colleagues through this difficult period and to minimise the impact on individuals as much as we possibly can, but this is an unavoidable step to protect the future of The Crichton and job prospects in the longer-term. While we look forward to the return of a thriving events trade at Easterbrook Hall and are optimistic about the possibilities and opportunities created by our new Crichton Central development, it is difficult for any of us to predict the full impact and implications of Covid-19 and when we will be in a position to scale up operations again. We are of course determined to use the resources and technology we have at our disposal to reach out to audiences in different ways, until such time as we can safely welcome larger audiences back into our venues. In the meantime, I wish colleagues, tenants and suppliers well as we all continue to deal with the challenges resulting from Covid-19.”

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