Covid-19: Celtic Manor Resort and ICC Wales to cut 450 jobs

The owners of ICC Wales and Celtic Manor Resort are to cut staff by almost half due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Bosses at the Celtic Collection, which owns the Newport conference centre and hotel, have announced that 450 of its 995 roles are to be made redundant.

The company, owned by Wales’ first billionaire Sir Terry Matthews, is one of the region’s major employers. The five-star hotel has been shut since lockdown began on 23 March and will reopen on 14 July with safety measures in place.

A company statement said: “It is clear the Covid-19 crisis will continue to have a catastrophic effect on the global economy, our nation and the travel, tourism and events industries for many months to come. The Celtic Collection must reshape and resize its business to ensure that it is fit for the future.

“With drastically reduced occupancy and revenues, its current financial model is not sustainable.”

The statement added that the redundancies may reduce significantly if more of the Celtic Collection’s facilities are permitted to reopen during the consultation period.

Welsh Senedd Member Delyth Jewell said that the resort’s billionaire owner Sir Terry Matthews should use his own money to sustain the 450 at-risk jobs.

Jewell said: “Celtic Manor’s owner, Sir Terry Matthews, is a billionaire, so he has ample means to support the business financially until the Covid-19 crisis is over.

“Even if Sir Matthews were to pay the full wages of these 450 staff for a whole year, it would hardly make a dent of 1 per cent to his own personal fortune, which has largely been amassed as a result of the hard work of his staff – for him to turn his back on them now would be utterly disgraceful.

“Sir Matthews has a civic and moral duty to sustain these jobs, especially considering the fact that the Welsh Government partly paid for the new International Convention Centre opened on his premises last year.”

Lorraine Gaskell, of the GMB Union, also called on Sir Terry to help.

She said: “This is terrible news for Newport. This workforce has helped to make Terry Matthews the first billionaire in Wales, so we think it’s only right that in these unprecedented times, he puts his hand into his very well lined pocket and keeps the staff on furlough.”

Celtic Manor Resort is one of the UK’s leading conference and event hotels, famed for hosting golf’s Ryder Cup in 2010 and the Nato summit in 2014. Located on the same site close to the M4, the £84 million, 5,000-capacity ICC Wales opened its doors in September last year.