Longest at Longleat
2:00pm Friday 18th July 2014 in By Richard McAllister
Twenty years ago this week Centre Parcs Longleat first opened its doors to the public on Thursday, July 14, 1994.
Staff and managers are marking the anniversary with a range of events including parties for staff, a charity bake-off where employees bake cakes for the head chef to judge, and recognition of those that have worked there since it opened.
Thirty-two of the village’s 1,300 employees have been with the company since the beginning.
One of those is HR manager Jackie Rosier, 59, from Wingfield Road, Trowbridge.
The mother-of-two started at the site as a HR co-ordinator and helped recruit the initial in-take of employees.
She said: “It is a really lovely place to work – it is like a real village.
“When I first started it was still being built and we had to wear hard hats for a while when we went outside.”
It was the third of the Center Parcs Villages to be built in the UK after Sherwood Forest, Notting-hamshire and Eleveden Forest, Suffolk.
The 400-acre woodland site has welcomed six million visitors and is estimated to be worth £20 million per year to the local economy.
General manager Andy De’Ath, who lives in Staverton, has worked at the village for 11 years.
The 46-year-old father of two said: “Staff have worked extremely hard at making the village a success.
“In recent years particularly, they have had to overcome a number of severe weather events – wind, rain and snow – to keep the village open.
“I’d like to thank my team for all their hard work and dedication.”
Elaine Harvey, head of marketing at the Wessex Chamber of Commerce, said: “Centre Parcs is a major employer in the area and provides a great boost to tourism in Wiltshire, attracting visitors from all over the UK and beyond.
“We congratulate them on their anniversary and look forward to working with them over the coming years.”