Archers plot twist as pub group with venues across the Home Counties offers Grey Gables staff new jobs!
BBC Radio 5 Archers fans will have spent the last fortnight deeply concerned at the fate of Borsetshire's upmarket hotel, Grey Gables.
Haemorrhaging money due to the pandemic, the hotel's owner Oliver Sterling has been forced to sell the controlling interest to some shadowy city interests, whose representative, Adil Khan, immediately made all the staff redundant and closed the hotel for refurbishment.
Like many small rural and larger market towns, the loss of some 20 jobs in the community is a massive blow to the local and individual finances.
Fortunately, one of the UK's fastest-growing pub, hotel and restaurant groups, The Oakman Group, which runs the Cherry Tree in Olney, The Woburn in Woburn and White Hart, Ampthill, in Beds, Three Locks, Stoke Hammond, Grand Junction Arms, Buckingham, and the Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne in Bucks, Grand Junction Arms and The Akeman, Tring, and Kings Arms, Berkhamsted, in Herts to name but a few, is riding to the rescue.
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With 37 venues across the North-West, Midlands and Southern England, they have launched an advertising campaign in The Caterer and across social media channels, offering the entire workforce from Grey Gables a job, promising "real-life careers" and "jobs you can't be written out of."
Talking directly to all those made redundant, the innovative pub group has won many awards for its staff training and career development programmes and has again featured in the top 3-star echelon of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Peter Borg-Neal, chairman and founder of The Oakman Group, said: "Art, in this case, is imitating life. So many companies have suffered during the pandemic.
"I'm no Archers expert, but when we heard about the plight of the Grey Gables’ staff, I knew we had to help and offer not only a new career – but one with no danger of being written out of the script.
"I know how tough it has been since March 2020, but unlike Grey Gables, we retained over 90% of our 1400-strong team I sympathise with Oliver Sterling having to sell his beloved Grey Gables.
"Unfortunately, much of our industry's hardships are due to a tsunami of government meddling in the working world. Luckily for Roy Tucker, Freddie Pargetter, Tracy Horrobin, Lynda Snell and the rest of the redundant Grey Gables team, the Oakman Group needs you.”
Full list of Oakman venues in Beds, Bucks, Herts, Ox, Warks and Northants:
The Woburn, Woburn*
White Hart, Ampthill
Akeman Inn, Kingswood, Bicester
Beech House, Amersham
Beech House, Beaconsfield
Cherry Tree, Olney
Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne
Grand Junction Arms, Buckingham
The Pointer, Brill* (SPC)
The Polecat, Prestwood
Three Locks, Stoke Hammond (SPC)
Grand Junction Arms, Tring (SPC)
Kings Arms, Berkhamsted *
Banyers House, Royston *
Beech House, St Albans
Red Lion, Water End
The Akeman, Tring
Navigation Inn, Cosgrove
Blue Boar, Witney *
Crown & Thistle, Abingdon *
Old Post Office, Wallingford
Four Alls, Welford-on-Avon
The Globe, Warwick *