Alton Towers has announced that it is looking to axe up to 190 salaried jobs at the resort in response to the downturn in visitor numbers since the Smiler incident. An Alton Towers spokesperson made the following statement:
“Alton Towers Resort is operating in the very dynamic and competitive leisure industry which is seeing increasingly rapid change, primarily fuelled by new technologies and ever higher visitor expectations.
The business therefore needs a modern, flexible structure which reflects this requirement for a reactive and customer focused approach. The review also looked at the impact on the business of the devastating incident on ‘The Smiler’ ride in June, which resulted in reduced visitation, particularly over the key summer months.
Regretfully however, it may result in the loss of up to 190 salaried jobs across the Resort. We anticipate some of these will be accounted for by a programme of non-replacement of existing vacancies, early retirement, redeployment elsewhere in the group, and voluntary redundancy. As soon as employee representatives have been appointed a consultation period will begin.
We appreciate the contribution our employees have made to the business and just how distressing this will be for everyone. Alton Towers will work closely with all those affected in order to support them through the consultation process and any subsequent requirement for alternative employment and job search activities. This includes an extension of its Employee Assistance Programme which will offer immediate phone support to all employees as well as follow-up practical aid and counselling.
This was an incredibly difficult decision to make and it has not been taken lightly or easily. However, we believe that this reorganisation now, together with a continuous programme of capital investment, will not only ensure the Resort’s long term growth, which is so vital to the local economy, but also protect the jobs of the bulk of its employees for the future.”
Alton Towers has seen significant losses in the months since the incident occurred, with fewer guests attending the Resort throughout the summer. Despite an upturn in attendance during both the Scarefest and Fireworks events, these losses seem to have forced the resorts hand. The Merlin Entertainments share price returned to growth in the last month.