Sedgebrook Hall: Back to Business, A Case Study
Sedgebrook Hall contains all the modern amenities necessary to hold parties, conferences, weddings, events, meetings and many other functions including 22 flexible event spaces, Wi-Fi, incredible catering, accommodation and parking. The venue is located in the charming village of Chapel Brampton, in the heart of the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside and set in 13 acres of picturesque gardens. The original manor house is a spectacular sight to see and the grounds are ideal for getting a breath of fresh air. It is only an hour from London, making it easy to reach and has 103 luxurious bedrooms to house its visitors.
Throughout the pandemic, many organisations have been required to hold essential training courses for key workers across all facets of society. Many of these sessions moved online, but the practicality of some sessions meant that they could only take place in a face to face environment. Since re-opening in September, Sedgebrook Hall has been host to a number of essential key worker training courses for the emergency services and several one-day first aid training sessions for the British Red Cross.
Dominic Biggin, Hotel Manager explains: “We followed our ‘Covid Secure Standards Charter’, and being part of Compass Group UK & Ireland helped enormously too. Compass Group has been operating in schools and hospitals throughout the lockdowns, so we were able to adopt their learnings and best practice and apply them to our venue. We were also able to take guidance from our sister venue Kents Hill Park because it was used by the Government in March 2020 to quarantine around 150 British citizens and their families who were flown from Wuhan City in China back to the United Kingdom.”
The Group’s ‘Stay Safe, Feel Safe’ Covid Secure Standards Charter is a six-point charter committed to reassuring organisers and keeping everyone safe. The team has adapted the food available and the way it is served; more ‘grab and go’ options are now offered to guests to take back to their rooms, buffet meals are plated up and screen guards have been installed at counters. Restaurant seating and bar service areas have been adapted to enable each delegate to have lots of space and keep a safe distance from others.
“Our Covid Standards also ensured that training companies felt safe to hold and advertise day training sessions here, and we also held a number of small boardroom meetings – sometimes just for a few hours – to facilitate face to face management team discussions and collaboration.”
Keeping social distancing in place during an event is paramount to the Sedgebrook Hall team. The venue now has a one-way flow system and signage across the venue to help guests keep a safe distance from others. The team works with organisers to prevent congestion and to suggest options such as staggered arrival/departure times and catering breaks to make sure they don’t get too busy.
The venue’s Oak and Cedar Suite has recently been refurbished to a very high standard, making it a very attractive wedding space. “We’ve held a few socially distanced weddings though lockdown – following the rules and adapting as they changed from 30 guests to 15. We will also have our bedroom refurbishment completed this year which will make us an even more attractive wedding venue.
A regular and thorough cleaning regime has also reassured customers. The team uses recognised cleaning products and antibacterial cleaners used by the NHS and they have increased the frequency of cleaning, paying close attention to high contact areas such as door handles, handrails and card readers. Hygiene stations with hand sanitisers have been placed around the venue for customers and colleagues to use and the team actively reminds everyone to continually practice safe hygiene measures. For extra safety, any colleagues working in close proximity to one another and our guests must wear personal protective equipment.
“We are offering our customers an extra 25% more space at no extra charge,” says Dominic. “We have 22 flexible event spaces that allow for the many configurations that we have created in line with our social distancing guidelines. Our clients have also been really impressed with the procedures set out in our six-point Covid Secure Standards Charter, and this has given them the confidence to book,” continues Dominic. “We have been strict at following our Covid procedures and our clients have told us that this has made them feel very safe at our venue.”
Dominic Biggin, Hotel Manager, Sedgebrook Hall