Jobs at risk at Snape Maltings as changes made at world famous arts and shops complex

PUBLISHED: 20:01 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 21:23 22 July 2020

Staff are facing the threat of job losses at Snape Maltings Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Staff are facing the threat of job losses at Snape Maltings Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Up to 30 jobs could be at risk at one of Suffolk’s leading tourist attractions because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the changing way people shop.

Harry Young of Snape Maltings Trading Ltd Picture: SU ANDERSONHarry Young of Snape Maltings Trading Ltd Picture: SU ANDERSON

Snape Maltings Trading Ltd has informed staff who work at the world famous arts and shopping complex’s shops and cafes that the business will be reshaped and restructured, and that they will be involved in a consultation process in August.

The award-winning independent shops and cafes attract around 500,000 people each year.

Managers say that while high street retailers have been greatly challenged in recent times, the Snape Maltings shops have bucked most trends because of the distinctive product ranges, busy programme of events and the glorious natural environment.

However, the pandemic and “evolving customer behaviours” have necessitated changes to the way the site is organised.

The Concert Hall Cafe at Snape Maltings Picture: LUCY TAYLORThe Concert Hall Cafe at Snape Maltings Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Harry Young, managing director of Snape Maltings Trading Ltd, said: “Customers are back enjoying Snape Maltings again and have responded positively to the new layout, which is more efficient, open plan and makes more of our abundant outdoor space.

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“We are optimistic about the future of the shops, which generate funds for one of the UK’s most important arts charities.

“But we must take great care to become as resilient as possible given the challenges that lie ahead.

“The majority of roles will remain, but we are deeply sorry that the total number of jobs may have to be reduced as we restructure the business to protect it for the future.”

Between 20 and 30 roles may be at risk as the layout and customer experience is adapted to become more efficient and better suited to modern needs and trends

Snape Maltings Trading Ltd (SMTL) is the commercial subsidiary of the newly-merged charity Britten Pears Arts, which is based at Snape Maltings and at the Red House in Aldeburgh. All profits from the shops and cafes go towards funding Britten Pears Arts.

Snape Maltings Trading Ltd expects the consultation to conclude by early September.

The Lettering Arts Centre, the Snape Antiques Centre, and the Plough and Sail pub are independent business based at Snape Maltings and are unaffected by this process.

The shops and cafes were closed throughout the lockdown period, and re-opened in early July. Though the business suffered significant financial losses during the closure, the shops and café, which has a panoramic view of the estuary, have performed well since re-opening in a new configuration.

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