Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, has visited Hendall Manor Barns wedding venue to meets it owners, Nicola and Peter Young and to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the wedding industry.
Hendall Manor Barns is a family owned, private wedding venue, situated in the heart of East Sussex countryside in Herons Ghyll near Uckfield.
Wedding venues have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic due to the many cancellations and postponements of booked appointments, the frequently changing number of attendees allowed at a ceremony, and the inability to conduct viewings throughout both national lockdowns.
Wedding receptions are unique within the hospitality sector. They are usually booked and arranged a long time ahead of the date in question and they create a cascade of local economic activity from catering, to music and taxis, including many small and vulnerable local businesses and the self-employed. The cancellation or postponement of weddings has a knock-on effect and is highly damaging to the wellbeing of local communities and families.
Nus has not only urged the Ministers to provide a concrete date for the reopening of the sector, but also called for the arbitrary number of 15 guests to be reviewed and tailored to the size of the venue. As all the guests are known to the bride and groom, they are easier to control in terms of track and trace by the venue. Nus has also advocated for the industry to be treated the same as the housing market and for the ability of wedding venues to show couples around, regardless of regional Tier allocations or national lockdowns.
Nus Ghani said: “Throughout the pandemic, I have spoken to countless Wealden couples who have sadly had to postpone their big day. I appreciate the hardships faced by our local wedding venue sector and the emotional burden on many couples and families. I agree that both venues and the happy couples need at least three-months’ notice to keep existing bookings for 2021 and I have pressed Ministers to open up the sector further and provide appropriate concessions. Hendall Manor is a beautiful spot for all sorts of special occasions, and it was a pleasure to visit it. I will continue to fight for the sector to ensure that many couples are able to celebrate their wedding here fully in 2021.”
"I have been a strong advocate for a cost-benefit analysis produced by the Government to ensure that the tier allocation will do more good than harm in Wealden. As a member of the Covid Recovery Group, I will continue to press for more transparency and objective criteria to the tiers. With a vaccine now available, the end of the pandemic is in sight. However, we do need a long-term strategy to rescue businesses in Wealden and ensure they thrive for years to come."