Update 31/12/2020 10:15
As we approach 2021 (unfortunately in tier 4) I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a safe and Happy New Year.
It is fair to say that 2020 has been a very strange year for us all but I am confident that with the roll out of the vaccinations we will get back to some normality in 2021. The team of employees that are still working are busily reprogramming shows and events so that we have a full calendar for when we are able to reopen.
Please remember if anyone has any worries or concerns then you are able to email Amanda or myself and we will respond at our earliest convenience, alternatively please call staff entrance and someone will call you back.
Stay safe and I look forward to welcoming you back to work in 2021.
Update 17/12/2020 12:00
You may now be aware that Blackpool will remain in Tier 3 which prohibits entertainment venues reopening, therefore we can confirm that Elf will not be able to go ahead as planned and consequently the Winter Gardens will remain closed until further notice. I would like to thank those who had committed to work over the festive period however all provisional shifts have now been cancelled.
This is very disappointing news for us all but clearly everyone’s health and well-being must take priority.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a safe Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year
Update 01/12/2020 08:15
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those employees who worked to ensure the success of the Royal Variety Performance. Without doubt this is the highlight of the year for Blackpool and the show will be broadcast at 8.00pm on the 8th December on ITV.
On a separate note, we remain confident that ELF will proceed as planned despite Blackpool currently being in tier 3. The show has sold incredibly well and we are looking to extend the show into the week in between Christmas and New Year so please ensure you remain available to return to work. We will be in touch in due course.
Please stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all again soon,
Update 12/11/2020 09:45
I do hope you and your loved ones are all safe and well during this second lock down.
We will soon be announcing a number of great shows that we will be hosting at the Winter Gardens over the coming weeks.
Accordingly, please accept this as confirmation that we will be contacting you to work on a rota basis from Monday 23 November through to January 2021. We are also working on additional shows and events from January onwards.
I fully appreciate these are challenging times for us all but please be assured we are doing all we can to ensure we have a programme of shows and events for when we can fully reopen safely.
As always, if you have any queries or require any further information please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Take care and I hope to see you soon,
Update 16/10/2020 15:35
Further to the recent announcement that Blackpool has now been included in Tier 3, the top level of Covid restrictions in England, we are awaiting further information on how it may affect BECL going forward. Once we have received and reviewed the information we will send out a further update bulletin.
As always thank you for your patience and understanding
Update 12/10/2020 20:50
Further to the ongoing collective consultations and individual employee 1 to 1 meetings, please find within the link below a revised employee structure. As always, if you have any queries please contact either your employee representatives or email Amanda at: [email protected]
Revised Employee Structure
Thank you for your ongoing co-operation,
Update 09/10/2020 18:00
Further to the ongoing collective consultation and 1-to-1 meetings, we continue to review the employee structure and our requirements for the short to medium term. Accordingly, please find within the link below a new job description for a Technician. Ideally applicants will have the relevant experience required but training will be offered for those employees who maybe do not have all the required skills at this stage.
Click here to view the job description.
Please email [email protected] before 17.00hrs on Sunday 11th October and initial interviews will be held on Tuesday 13th October.
Update 02/10/2020 09:30
Please find the revised employee structure for Blackpool Entertainment Company Limited, via this LINK.
This has been issued to the employee representatives this morning so please direct any queries to them in the first instance.
If you would like to request any specific job descriptions or would like an individual consultation then please email Amanda on the following email address: [email protected]
Please only use email to contact Amanda as she is in meetings and will not be available to take telephone calls
Thank you for your continued support and understanding,
Update 07/08/2020 12:00
I trust you and your loved ones remain safe and well.
I wanted to provide a brief update as to the ongoing situation which has continued much longer than any of us could have anticipated. As always we continue to monitor the latest government updates and status of restrictions which still prevent the business from operating normally with imposed bans remaining on live performance and meetings over 30 people.
Whilst these restrictions remain in place we are hoping before the end of the month to announce a series of events permittable under current guidelines that would allow the business to reopen in a limited capacity in the near future. I look forward to sharing these with you once confirmed before we make our plans public.
You may have also seen earlier this week that we announced on social media that the Blackpool Dance Festival will take place in a digital form, for the first time in its history you’ll be able to follow the competitions online.
Continue to remain safe and I look forward to welcoming you back to the business soon.
Update 10/07/2020 16:00
I am delighted to be able to provide a positive update. This afternoon we were able to announce that the Conservative Party will return to resort and the Winter Gardens Blackpool for their Spring conference in 2022. It’ll be the first time the party has held a national conference in Blackpool since 2007, its fantastic news for the business and resort. The event is expected to generate more than £2.4m for the local economy, a much welcome boost ensuring we will be key in Blackpool’s recovery for many years to come.
Whilst the business remains closed work is ongoing on the Conference and Exhibition Centre which is the catalyst for the Conservatives returning to Blackpool, when we return hopefully the progress made in the new building will be noticeable to all.
As the situation continues to develop and further relaxation measures are introduced that affect the businesses operations, I will keep you fully updated.
Update 03/07/2020 12:50
You may have seen over the past week a number of high-profile events have unfortunately had to be cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus. These events include the PDC World Matchplay Darts which will now take place behind closed doors in Milton Keynes, allowing the PDC a confined location with integrated hotel to create a security bubble for the players and crews. The event will return in 2021 with customers able to transfer their tickets to next year's competition.
We have also had to take the decision to reschedule the 95th British Open Dance Festival and 73rd Junior Dance Festival which will now both be staged in 2021. Each of the events unfeasible under current government-imposed restrictions. Along with this a number of shows, concerts and events continue to adjust their Autumn tours into 2021.
Work continues apace at the venue to explore the greater use of the cinema in the Opera House and the possibilities for the other spaces under existing guidance as a means of reopening. As and when we can detail plans, we will fully update you but for now take care of yourself and families this weekend as further restrictions are lifted.
Update 24/06/2020 09:45
Following yesterday’s latest announcement from the Prime Minster I wanted to update you on how this affects us as a business and our plan moving forward.
Much of what was announced has a very limited impact on our core operations returning with restrictions still imposed on live performance and conference facilities. We remain hopeful that work being undertaken by government for venues such as ours will result in the ability to return to normal operations as soon as possible.
Despite this, work is being undertaken to develop a programme of content that would allow us to become operational in the near future including the greater use of the Opera House as a Cinema showing the latest cinema releases. Exploratory work is also ongoing to utilise space within the venue for exhibitions and other uses which are permittable under the new and envisaged future guidance.
Whilst much of our advertised Summer and Autumn programme has been affected, with more still set to move, I can assure you we are working to develop as comprehensive programme as possible to ensure the venue is in the best position to strive following the crisis.
As our plans for a phased reopening begin to develop further, I will keep you fully updated, until then continue to remain safe.
Update 28/05/2020 10:50
As we await further guidance from the Government as to when and how we may be able to safely reopen and stage events I wanted to provide you with an update as to what has been taking place at the venue.
I am pleased to confirm work has once again resumed on the Conference and Exhibition centre following the lockdown. Following strict new guidelines, contractors are on-site pressing ahead with its construction ahead of the planned opening next year.
As we progress through the year, unfortunately more events are being affected but where possible they are being rearranged to later this year or early next ensuring when we do return to full capacity the calendar will be jam packed. Until that time, we continue to take steps within the venue to ensure our readiness to reopen safely following advice and guidelines issued.
Throughout the lockdown the compassion, kindness and proactive attitude of our team has continued to shine through something we are known around the world and something I am incredibly proud of. Along with many projects and small gestures, the Winter Gardens team have organised regular beach cleans, another of which is planned for this evening, which if you could make you would be more than welcome with details provided below.
If, like me, you are missing the Dance Festival then tune in to DSI TV YouTube channel HERE.
For now, continue to remain safe and take care of yourself and your family. Enjoy the stunning weather if you can, I look forward to returning back to the Winter Gardens with you all in the not too distant future.
Beach Clean details.
Thursday 28 May 2020 at 7pm.
Meeting Points. Either North pier & Sandcastle Waterpark. Teams will be setting off from each location.
For the latest information about the cleans, join the group on Facebook HERE
Update 11/05/2020 11:25
Following the latest announcement from the Prime Minster, yesterday evening, the proposed relaxation of certain measures has no influence on our business and its ability to reopen in the immediate short-term. Events scheduled to take place up until the end of June will now be rescheduled and those in July and beyond kept under constant review.
As always, we will continue to monitor the updates and review the possibility of reopening certain functions of the business as and when it is safe to do so following government advice. Until such time, we will work to ensure measures are put in place across the entire venue which ensures both your and our customers safety when return is possible.
For now continue to look after yourself and those close to you. The risk the virus presents has not gone away, the faster we can all limit the spread through social distancing the quicker we can return to a sense of normality. As and when further relevant guidance is issued, I will keep you fully updated on our plans to reopen the business.
Update 04/05/2020 10:34
I hope you and your families continue to remain safe and well throughout this difficult time.
As has been widely reported, the UK government will be setting out plans on Sunday 10 May as to how some restrictions may be lifted and the roadmap ahead which will allow us to proactively consider our next steps as a business and its eventual return to full operation when it’s safe to do so. Throughout this I will keep you fully up to date and ensure you are fully aware of our plans.
As a business we are continuing to take steps to ensure we remain as resilient as possible to the challenging climate, new shows and events are being scheduled whilst affected events are being rescheduled to avoid cancellations. Via social, email and phone we’re continuing to engage with our customers ensuring they’re up to date with the ongoing situation and the steps that are being taken at the venue to ensure our readiness to reopen when it’s safe to do so.
Please continue to remain safe, follow official advice and remember you are key to the Winter Gardens success moving forward and the situation is only temporary. As a team, we will come together and take the business forward into the ‘New normal’ and ensure the business strives.
Update 24/04/2020 12:04
I hope you and your families remain safe and well and you’re enjoying the stunning weather.
We’ll now provide weekly updates to keep you fully updated as to what’s taking place at the Winter Gardens whilst the venue remains closed.
This week we were delighted to announce that Mamma Mia! Will return to Blackpool next spring for a 2-week run which has been fantastically received. The musical which welcomed over 100k guests in 2014 is sure to be a huge hit next year.
We’ve also been able to reveal that star of The Voice Nicole Dennis will lead the cast of Dreamgirls this October. This comes alongside the ongoing cast announcements for Cinderella which has so far seen CBeebies Swashbuckle star Jennie Dale and Milkeshakes David Ribbi announced. They will be joined by 3 more-star names to be revealed over the coming weeks.
As a business we’re proud to be playing our part, working with BID the venue has acted as a donation hub and has so far provided thousands of pounds worth of PPE, toiletries, water, soft drinks, biscuits and much more to the Blue Skies Hospital Charity.
Continue to stay safe, follow government advice! We cannot wait to reopen the doors and welcome everyone back when it’s safe to do so.
Update 21/04/2020 12:20
20 April 2020
Furlough Leave Proposal
I write further to our discussion on 19th March 2020, to confirm that the company has been forced to close temporarily with effect from 20th March 2020 in line with Government requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As you may be aware, the Government has recently announced that it will support employers to continue paying a proportion of their employees’ salaries in circumstances where they would otherwise be laid off without pay. This is known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
In order to access the CJRS, employers must designate affected employees as “furloughed workers” and notify them of this change, before submitting information to HMRC about the employees that have been placed on furlough leave (i.e. granted leave of absence) and their earnings. HMRC will then reimburse 80% of each furloughed worker’s wage costs, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month
Given the above, I am writing to inform you of the company’s decision to designate you as a “furloughed worker” and place you on furlough leave with effect from 20th March 2020.This means that you will be granted leave of absence for a temporary period and we intend to make an application under the CJRS to cover a proportion of your wages, thereby enabling us to provide you with an income during the period of furlough leave.
Given that the Government have now extended the lock down period, the Company now confirm that we will claim the furlough of 80% but with effect from 24th April will not be in a position to pay the additional “top up” of the 20%.
Consequently, your payment will be based on 80% for the average of the hours that you have worked over the past 12 weeks. I am sure you appreciate that this decision is to safe guard the future of the Company and your continued employment with BECL.
Please note that the proposed furlough leave arrangement may need to be reviewed in the event that you (or we) fail to be eligible under the CJRS, the CJRS ends and/or our circumstances otherwise change. Please also note that if any work, including any suitable alternative work, becomes available you will be expected to be available to undertake it and your furlough leave will be cancelled.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your co-operation through this difficult period. If you have any queries, or there is anything that I can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Update 17/04/2020 15:13
Please join me in congratulating three members of staff who have achieved 20 years service this month:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their collective 60 years service and when the lock down is over we will all join with them to celebrate!!
Update 17/04/2020 11:23
I trust you are all keeping safe and well during these uncertain times.
By way of an update I can confirm that we are working closely with show promoters and producers to ensure that they continue to bring their events and shows to Blackpool and we continue to monitor the Governments announcements regarding social distancing and when these may be relaxed to allow us to reopen. You may have seen on social media that we are now announcing new shows as well as the line-up of artistes for Cinderella and we have been very proactive in a “search for Cinderella campaign” which has been very well received. Throughout the period the Winter Gardens has also been a hub for collections following a campaign with Blackpool BID to support the Blue Skies Hospital Charity.
We will be reviewing the Job Retention Scheme and the furlough payments and Amanda will soon be in contact with you again about this.
If anyone would like to discuss any issues that they may be concerned about then please do ring Staff Entrance and someone will call you back or alternatively please email me at [email protected]
In the meantime, I would urge you all to keep safe.
Update 30/03/2020 15:15
The council are now seriously looking for volunteers to help essential services. Full training will be provided and you will receive confirmation that you are helping to provide essential services.
BECL have committed to paying as many of our employees as possible during the closure, and I do believe that we have been very generous, so now it's our turn to show our commitment back to the Council and the vulnerable community in BLACKPOOL.
Please do what you can to help.
Email Ian Harris now at: [email protected] or message him at 07939 298201
If you have any queries or are not sure about volunteering then please call me: 07778 419646.
Update 28/03/2020 12:45
Please could weekly paid employee’s who haven’t already submitted their email to [email protected] do so as soon as possible as it may delay payment.
If you have already sent it to Amanda please do not send it again.
Also, don't forget about the volunteering opportunities below.
Update 27/03/2020 15:24
BECL have been asked to arrange some volunteers for the following Council essential services from next week:
Vitaline – A Technology Enabled Care service responding to people who have a pendent/life line to call for assistance. They operate a call/monitoring centre to field all the calls coming in and send out ‘responders’ to people’s homes to offer welfare visits or even a ‘falls pick up’.
Vitaline operates 24/7 and therefore hours of work can be flexible over this period but would typically be either an early (7am) or late (2pm) shift, but this is negotiable. A driver would be advantageous but there are other duties that don’t require a driver.
ARC – A residential care service supporting people for up to six weeks as part of a rehabilitation plan. The service is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team including nurses, physios and occupational therapists alongside an experienced social care team.
There a number of roles available where support is required, these include catering, housekeeping, reception duties and direct care delivery supporting the residents. Training will be provide.
Shift times and hours are flexible and can be negotiated.
Homecare – Supporting people living in their own homes with care tasks, including personal care but also helping with meals and other household tasks as required.
Shift times and hours can be flexible and a driver would be preferable, although there are office and duty roles available that support the referral process and the allocation of care to carers that don’t require a driver.
Phoenix Service – A residential service supporting people with mental health needs who may be experiencing a period of crisis but don’t need a hospital admission. This is a home from home service offering low level support for short periods of time, typically up to 72hrs.
Shift times and hours are flexible and can be agreed.
Please email Ian Harris [email protected] or text or WhatsApp him on 07939 298201. Car drivers please confirm also if you have a car.
Update 27/03/2020 09:31
Good morning all,
I hope everyone is well?
Further to last Friday’s announcement from the Prime Minister, I am reviewing the Covid Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to determine if it applies to BECL. However, as you will appreciate, it is a new scheme and the details are still being developed. As discussed last week, weekly pay has been processed today as normal and monthly pay was processed on the 25th March. I will send out further announcements relating to CJRS as they develop.
Could I ask that employees refrain from using social media to ask Amanda questions. If you have any queries, then please email her and she will endeavour to respond during her normal working week ie Monday – Friday 09.00 – 17..00 hrs.
Take care and stay safe,
Update 26/03/2020 08:55
Don't stress about gas or electricity
Phone your supplier if you have a prepay meter and inform them if you are self isolating and they will provide 2 weeks worth of gas and electricity or if you have a smart meter they will top it up.
British Gas. 0333 202 9802
EDF. 0333 200 5100
EON. 0345 052 000
N Power. 0800 073 3000
Scottish Power. 0800 027 0072
SSE. 0345 026 2658
Update. 21/03/2020 15:00
Now that we are in lock down at the Winter Gardens here is a quick update:
Can any employees who have not signed the form relating to payment please come to staff entrance either Sunday or Monday between 10:00 - 16:00hrs. You will also be asked to complete a form so that we can email you your payslip.
The council are looking for experienced carers to assist so if anyone has any experience of caring for a relative or has previously worked in the care industry.
If you have carer experience and are willing to volunteer (you will be paid) please call staff entrance and advise them of this before Monday at 09:00.
I do hope you are all well.