East Lulworth

A  Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC Network

News - 2010

More jobs to go on Lulworth estate

By Laura Kitching

SEVEN more jobs are set to go as part of cutbacks by the Lulworth Estate, while staff at a pub face an uncertain future.

Now 24 permanent staff at Lulworth Castle face redundancy, as the estate prepares to close several attractions and scrap several events.

The latest figure announced by the estate has risen from the previous estimate of up to 15 job cuts.

Seasonal employees will also be affected by the decision to close the café, shop and animal farm on December 31.

In a double blow for the small village of East Lulworth, staff at the estate-owned Weld Arms say they are also affected by the shake-up.

Weld Arms head chef Darren Paul said: “The pub is up for lease so they’re getting rid of the pub and hoping someone else will come in and take it on, without it having to close. I’m leaving next week to go to London because I didn’t know where I stood and two other chefs are leaving next week.

“There’s around 10 to 12 full and part-time staff here. It’s a shame this is happening because the pub has a reputation for good food.”

An estate spokesman said: “The Weld Arms is trading as normal and we’re currently taking Christmas bookings. The plan is to keep it open. A couple of staff are taking other jobs but no one’s being made redundant, it’s their own choice.”

Last month, the Weld family, who own Lulworth Castle and estate, announced plans to axe popular events like medieval jousting and the egg hunt. They blamed falling visitor numbers and unfavourable ‘economic prospects’, which had made it ‘impossible to justify further investment’.

The shake-up will leave 142 remaining staff on the estate.

The estate spokesman added: “There will be 24 job losses in the Lulworth Estate in general.

“That includes eight in the works yard and 16 across the café, shop and office staff.

“There are employees here who do have estate cottages but there will be no evictions. Housing is offered to all Lulworth employees at a heavily subsidised rent.

“There are four people potentially affected, with rent being reviewed after six months depending on the circumstances at that time.”

Councillor Graham Hemsley, chairman of East Lulworth Parish Council, said: “It’s a very tight little community. The loss of these jobs will be felt really keenly.

“The estate is a substantial employer around here, one can appreciate the situation that they didn’t get the throughput into the park this year they were expecting and obviously they can’t carry on losing money.”

A Lulworth resident, who did not wish to be named, said former employees with tied cottages to the estate had been told that their rent would go up to market rate in six months.

Dorset Echo - Monday 29 November 2010

Lulworth Castle helps to boost Echo toy appeal

By Catherine Bolado

Sally Weld presents money and presents to the Echo appeal

WITH less than four weeks until Christmas the Echo Toy Appeal has received a boost of presents and toys from Lulworth Castle.

Lulworth Castle is the home of the Weld family and they have donated presents and a cheque for £100 to the appeal to ensure that underprivileged children in Dorset have a happy Christmas this year.

Now in its eleventh year, the Echo Christmas Toy Appeal makes sure that children in Dorset have a present to open on Christmas morning.

There are 23 shops, supermarkets and toy stores across the county that are acting as collection points for gifts and so far the response has been good and with less than a month to go, the appeal is in full swing.

Sally Weld said: “As president of the Dorset branch of the NSPCC, I am well aware of the hardships faced at Christmas time for some families, especially in relation to buying presents. We have lots of young visitors to Lulworth Castle and they have the time of their lives here.

“It is always a pleasure to see the youngsters enjoying themselves, which is why we wanted to donate to the Echo Toy Appeal, it is a really great idea and we are very happy to support this worthwhile cause for the second year running.”

The toys and gifts collected will be added to the donations by readers.

As part of the Christmas Toy Appeal the Echo is encouraging businesses to get involved with the 20 for 2010 campaign. The campaign is looking for 20 companies to donate £100 each to the appeal.

This money will go to top up the funds raised by the appeal and help to ensure that every child that has registered for a present will receive one.

Any businesses wishing to get involved should contact the Toy Appeal office on 01305 830815.

Vouchers for the toy appeal can be sent to the Dorset Echo Toy Appeal at Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, DT4 9XD.

The Dorset Echo on the Granby Industrial Estate in Weymouth and Antelope Walk in Dorchester are also accepting donations of toys, games and arts and craft materials for the appeal.

Please only donate new, unwrapped presents and please no cuddly toys.

Daily Echo - Saturday, 27 November 2010

Up to 15 jobs to go at Lulworth Castle

By Catherine Bolado

UP to 15 jobs could be lost at Lulworth Castle after it was announced that the estate is to close several attractions and scrap several events.

Popular events like mediaeval jousting and the egg hunt will go amid financial pressures at the estate at East Lulworth.

Yesterday the Weld family, who own Lulworth Castle and estate, announced that the café, shop and animal farm would close on December 31.

Approximately 15 jobs will face the axe but the family said that they did not know the exact figure yet and would try and retain as many staff as possible to work on different parts of the estate.

The family said that the jobs losses were due to falling visitor numbers and unfavourable ‘economic prospects’ that would ‘make it impossible to justify further investment’ in the estate.

Speaking about the decision James Weld said: “The family are very disappointed to have to take the decision to reduce our activities at Lulworth Castle and the direct effect that this will have on those people who are being made redundant at a difficult time.”

He added: “We have continued to support this part of our business for the last 12 years but the economic prospects over the next few years, make it impossible to justify further investment.

“Everyone involved in Lulworth Castle and Park has worked extremely hard but it has become increasingly clear that we are not going to achieve the visitor numbers necessary to continue the business in its current form.”

One Lulworth resident, who did not want to be named, expressed shock at the news.

She said: “It’s come as a bit of a surprise and it’s quite shocking really. Several people around here work on the estate and have ties to it.”

The animal farm area is home to a variety of animals including rare Portland sheep, peacocks, alpacas, goats, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and chickens. These will all now be re-homed.

Outside events, including weddings and the award-winning family festival Camp Bestival, will go ahead and the castle and grounds will be available for hire for corporate parties and events.

The castle will also be open for members of the public to look around but popular events including the jousting, historic combat festival and pirate-themed events will go from January 1, 2011.

Lulworth Castle’s Christmas events will still run from December 19 to December 31 and there will be a host of traditionally themed attractions including stories by the fireside, magic shows, games and quizzes. There will also be a chance to see how traditional mince pies were made in the castle kitchens.