Celtic Manor boss Sir Terry Matthews urged to use his own 'personal fortune' to save 450 jobs at resort

140720 Sir Terry Matthews PA IMAGES COLLAGE
450 jobs are at risk at the Celtic Manor Resort Credit: PA

The owner of the Celtic Manor Resort, Sir Terry Matthews, is being urged to use his own money to save the 450 jobs under threat.

Last week, the company that owns the resort announced it would be cutting almost half its workforce because of the "devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic."

Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews bought the Celtic Manor in 1980. The resort includes four hotels, a country inn, luxury lodges, two spas, six restaurants and three championship golf courses. 

South Wales East MS Delyth Jewell sent an open letter to Sir Terry Matthews asking him to use his own money to support his staff.

The letter says: "Your workers at Celtic Manor have worked extraordinarily hard over the years and have shown you great loyalty as you succeeded in continually improving and expanding your enterprise.

"By investing in your workforce now, you will put Celtic Manor in the strongest possible position to bounce back from this crisis and continue to a successful future."

Sir Terry Matthews (L) owns the Celtic Manor Resort Credit: PA

The letter also says: “The Covid-19 crisis has taken a devastating toll on many business, particularly in the tourism sector, and we sympathise with the fact that Celtic Manor has taken a substantial financial hit. We feel, however, that a temporary fall in income for a business that usually turns a substantial profit really pales in comparison with the devastating prospect of 450 workers losing their jobs.

“We know that you have always taken a keen interest in supporting your home country, as evidenced by your success in bringing the Ryder Cup to Wales, your business ventures here and your chairmanship of the Swansea Bay City Region Board.

“You will therefore have a keen grasp of the horrific scale of damage that losing these 450 jobs would do to those directly affected, as well as Newport’s economy."

Those who have signed the letter include:

  • Delyth Jewell, Member of the Senedd for South Wales East

  • Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru Shadow Economy Minister

  • Councillor Carmel Townsend, Leader of Liberal Democrat Group on Newport Council

  • Councillor Kevin Whitehead, Leader of Newport Independents Party

  • Councillor Chris Evans, Rogerstone Ward

  • Darren Williams, National Officer, Public and Commercial Services Union

  • Ruth Brady, Regional Secretary, GMB Wales

The Celtic Manor has hosted many major events including the 2014 NATO Summit

In response, the Celtic Collection said it must "reshape and resize its business to ensure that it is fit for the future". It said its current financial model is "not sustainable".

In a statement, it said: "The extremely difficult decision has therefore been taken to begin the consultation stage of a redundancy programme, which at the present time is expected to result in the loss of around 450 jobs from a total permanent workforce of 995.

"The Celtic Collection deeply regrets having to take this course of action in response to the devastating economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and understands the enormous impact this will have on the livelihoods of affected team members and their families. Everything possible will be done to support those affected."