Hotel invests £25,000 to bring wedding bliss
IT IS no secret the economic downturn has impacted heavily on businesses across the region.
Hotels and restaurants in particular have been hit hard as businesses cut back their spending on events such as Christmas parties and corporate entertaining.
Now, as the country braces itself for a triple-dip recession, one East Yorkshire business is investing in its future in a bid to defy the economic gloom.
Willerby Manor is investing more than £25,000 in one of its three banqueting rooms as part of a plan to increase its share in the wedding market.
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The wedding industry is one that has defied the downturn, with figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showing that the number of people getting married has been increasing every year since 2010.
This comes after nearly four decades of decline, with the number of recorded marriages falling year on year between 1972 and 2009.
Alex Townend, managing director of Willerby Manor, said: "Like all good family firms, we don't just sit back, we get off our backsides and do something.
"We are launching a campaign to increase our share of the wedding market and are investing £25,000 in the Talbot Suite, which is one of the three banqueting rooms here at the manor."
Alex said the move was prompted by the poor state of the region's economy, which has impacted on most East Yorkshire businesses.
She said: "The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on many firms.
"This has been illustrated by the hundreds of redundancies we have witnessed at firms across Hull and the East Riding, and this impacts on businesses like ours.
"This year in particular we, like many others, have seen a fall in the number of corporate Christmas parties and other related events as businesses reduce their spending or even cancel their events altogether.
"Willerby Manor has always been a popular wedding venue but now we are making further investments to increase our market share."
Alex said the business had always looked to invest its way out of the recession, as illustrated in 2009 when it kicked off a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the venue's facilities.
"In a way, the recession is the best time to invest," she said.
"Many tend to cut back and fewer people are investing, meaning that, for those that do, it makes an even bigger impact."