New Chapter in Farnham Castle’s History
Farnham Castle Operations Ltd is delighted to announce that with immediate effect, it has taken over the running of the existing business at Farnham Castle.
The new organisation brings a wealth of expertise in the events and hospitality sector. The aim is to continue to develop Farnham Castle as a first class provider of training and events, as well as providing a local amenity, and a sustainable future for the Castle and the Norman Keep.
Nick Land, on behalf of the trustees of the charity responsible for the protection and preservation of the Castle said, ‘We are delighted that Farnham Castle Operations have come on board and we look forward to working with them’.
Farnham Castle Operations Limited, a new entity, understands the importance of Farnham Castle within the local community and fully intends to work closely with local bodies, businesses and suppliers to deliver employment and economic benefits to the area.
For further information contact:
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 721 194
Farnham Castle to hold Religious Marriage Ceremonies
Premier wedding reception venue, Farnham Castle, has announced today that the granting of a Bishop’s licence for public worship has been agreed in principle. The licence will allow Farnham Castle to hold Church of England marriage ceremonies within one of the two chapels inside the stunning 12th Century Castle in Surrey, with an Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Marriage Licence.
Farnham Castle Presented with Surrey Historic Buildings Trust Award
Farnham Castle has been presented with the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust Commended Award for its recent work on the sensitive restoration of the Castle’s 12th Century Keep and creation of a ‘900 Years of Living History’ exhibition, which is now open to the public free of charge, seven days per week, throughout most of the year. The award was presented to Phil Hackett, CEO of Farnham Castle and Robin Crane, architect on the project, at a special event held at the Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey this week.
Farnham Castle and CWSE Launch Olympic Themed Team Building Event
Leading conference and events venue, Farnham Castle, has got together with Surrey based events company, Country Wide Special Events (CWSE), to offer an Olympic themed Team Building Day aimed at corporate organisations. Following an opening ceremony, attendees will ‘go for gold’ in events such as: Archery, Beach Volleyball, Shooting, Fencing & Boxing, Athletics and Football. The day cumulates culminates in an Olympic style prize giving and closing ceremony.
Olympic Event Inspires Farnham Castle’s 20.12% Conference Venue Discount Offer
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, visited Farnham Castle last week, to urge the tourist industry to sign up to a new 20.12% discount scheme administered by Visit England. Inspired, the team at Farnham Castle has applied this innovative promotional idea to its conference and meetings business and to celebrate this year’s Olympic Games, has announced a special 20.12% discount offer on all conferences to be held at the Castle in June, July and August 2012.
Farnham Castle Appoints New Business Development Manager For Conferences and Events
Leading conference and events venue, Farnham Castle, has today announced the appointment of Karen Fairs as its new business development manager. Fairs’ role will be to increase footfall at Farnham Castle, one of the most unique venues in the South of England.
Farnham Castle Wins Waverley ‘Overall Design Award’
09 December 2011
Farnham Castle has been named as the overall winner of the prestigious Waverley Design Awards for its sensitive restoration of the Castle’s 12th Century Keep and creation of a ‘900 Years of Living History’ exhibition. The Waverley Design Awards scheme, first introduced in 1995 to encourage an interest in the quality of the built and natural environment in the Borough, also recognised Farnham Castle with the Building and Conservation and Interpretation award, as well as a special highly commended Community Award, at a ceremony at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham this week.
“It has been quite a week for Farnham Castle, as this exciting news follows our Hudson Heritage award win for Best Corporate Venue and a silver award in the Business Tourism Finalist category for the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence,” confirms Phil Hackett chief executive at Farnham Castle. “However, winning the Waverley Design Awards is a particularly special achievement, as it recognises the work of the whole team who painstakingly contributed to the restoration project including: our own staff, local architects Crane & Associates who designed the Oak Pavilion to protect the foundations and walls of the original Keep’s tower, Oakwrights Ltd of Frensham who constructed the Pavilion and structural engineer, Andrew Waring.”
In June 2010 Jeremy Hunt, MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport officially re-opened the Keep to the general public following a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of over £700,000 which enabled the completion of this major restoration project.
This year, Farnham Castle also opened the exhibition; ‘900 Years of Living History’ which represents a unique insight into the Castle and the role the bishops played throughout a millennium of history. The story tells of the evolution of the Keep and palace buildings that made up the Castle as a home, meeting place, battleground and as a favourite haunt of royalty through the centuries.
As a Community Activity project, the exhibition has been created by an association of the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham and Farnham Castle to tell the fascinating story through highly creative displays of design and craftsmanship of UCA staff and students. Farnham Castle has ensured this historic site has been made as widely accessible as possible to the public and the Keep and exhibition are now open free of charge to visitors, seven days a week, throughout most of the year.
For further information about Farnham Castle, please visit: www.farnhamcastle.com
Farnham Castle Wins Hudson’s Heritage Award for Best Corporate Venue
02 December 2011
Leading conference and events venue, Farnham Castle, has seen off fierce competition to win the Best Corporate Venue category in the distinguished Hudson’s Heritage Awards. The winners of the awards, which recognise the Nation's Finest Heritage Venues, were announced yesterday at a special lunch ceremony in London.
“Farnham Castle was built in 1138 by a grandson of William the Conqueror and is one of the most important historical buildings in South East England,” confirms Jeff Toms, client services and marketing director at Farnham Castle. “In more recent years, this unique venue has been sensitively adapted and modernised to accommodate a state-of-the-art corporate meeting and conference centre, as well as a favoured wedding venue. In addition, for nearly 50 years, the Castle has been the home of the world-renowned Farnham Castle International Briefing Centre, providing Intercultural Business Skills training and Global Mobility Programmes to employees of the world's leading companies as well as UK and Overseas governments.
“Preservation of the Castle’s buildings and grounds and improving accessibility for the benefit of the wider public is one of our main charitable objectives,” continues Toms. “However, it is our unique ‘self-funding’ business model that supports this aim combined with our business-minded approach that has allowed Farnham Castle to be named as the winner for this prestigious award. We are delighted to have been recognised in this way and the award is a testament to the dedication of the whole team at Farnham Castle who work to maintain the upkeep of this stunning building and ensure all our guests from the UK and overseas, always enjoy a memorable visit.”
The Castle can cater for upto 120 day and around 30 residential conference delegates. It has 14 fully equipped meeting rooms available for corporate hire and offers 32 en-suite bedrooms. Wi-fi facilities are available throughout most of the building. High quality private dining facilities for small groups, corporate banqueting and a restaurant located in the original Norman kitchens are provided by Farnham Castle’s own chefs. The Castle regularly attracts around 17,000 corporate guests each year taking advantage of the unique training, conference and event facilities that have been created.
For more information about Farnham Castle visit www.farnhamcastle.com or call 01252 721194
Farnham Castle Selected as Business Tourism Finalist in Beautiful South Awards for Excellence
10 November 2011
Farnham Castle has announced today, it has been selected as a finalist in the Business Tourism Finalist category for the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence. The awards, run by Tourism South East and the Services for Tourism, recognise the leading tourist attractions in the region. Previous winners in various categories, include the likes of: Ascot Racecourse, Pennyhill Park Hotel and Tylney Hall Hotel, Hampshire.
“Farnham Castle’s major charitable objective is the preservation of the Castle buildings and grounds,” explains Jeff Toms, marketing and client services director, Farnham Castle. “However, it is our ‘business minded’ approach to the preservation and maintenance of the Castle for the benefit of community that I believe has resulted in us being selected as a finalist for this prestigious award.”
To support its preservation, Farnham Castle, operates as a business and conference and corporate and private events venue centre, in addition to being a world leading provider of Intercultural Business Skills training. The Castle is also a sought after venue for wedding receptions and other community activities. Recent major restoration projects have made the Castle and grounds widely accessible to the general public.
“The Castle regularly attracts around 17,000 corporate guests each year taking advantage of the unique training, conference and event facilities that have been created,” continues Toms. “Despite the pressures of the current economic situation Farnham Castle continues to see a year on year growth in visitor numbers with high levels of repeat business from both international, national and local clients.
“Our business model attracts paying customers while making the site as freely accessible as possible to the general public. As a charity, all revenue generated is re-invested into the Castle’s up-keep,” confirms Toms. “Since taking over the management of the Castle’s Keep from English Heritage last year, we are now attracting up to 500 additional public visitors each week, representing an increase of 400% in numbers year on year who can now enjoy visiting the Keep and our exhibition for free.”
The winners of the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence will be announced at a ceremony held at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey on 1 December.
For more information about Farnham Castle visit www.farnhamcastle.com or call 01252 721194
Christmas Parties are Back on the Agenda at Farnham Castle
18 October 2011
Farnham Castle Conference and Events Centre has announced Christmas Parties are back on the agenda this year with many key dates being booked up well in advance.
“Farnham Castle is always a popular choice for corporate Christmas parties, as holding the event at such an iconic venue offers such a unique experience,” explains Jeff Toms, marketing and client services director at Farnham Castle. “However, this year we have seen some of the larger organisations booking well in advance to ensure they can be sure of a booking on their preferred date.
“Although Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are, as always, proving most popular, early week-dates are increasingly popular. Often smaller companies who are looking for the same big party experience choose to join one of our ‘shared’ events,” confirms Toms. “Smaller businesses have the option of booking single or multiple tables to join a particular evening’s entertainment. In this way, staff can be rewarded with the same extra special experience, quality food, entertainment and unique atmosphere.”
Farnham Castle itself was first built in 1138, and the historic building has been adapted to the needs of a modern international business conference and events centre. “However, being a grade 1 listed building is only part of the venue’s attraction,” continues Toms. “The appeal of getting together in historic surroundings; sleeping in a room that was once occupied by the courtiers of Queen Elizabeth I or eating a meal prepared in the Norman kitchen seems to create an air of excitement and enthusiasm which other venues find hard to match.”
Set in its own 5 acre grounds, the Castle is situated within an easy walk of Farnham town centre. With excellent road and rail links (50 minutes from Waterloo) and close proximity to Heathrow and Gatwick airports and on-site parking, the Castle is both a particularly convenient and memorable venue for any business occasion.
For more information on Farnham Castle’s shared Christmas parties please visit www.farnhamcastle.com or call 01252 721 194
Farnham Castle to Host Open Activity Day
19 September 2011
Farnham Castle Conference and Events Centre will open its doors on Thursday, 13 October, inviting guests to come and view its facilities and participate in a whole host of activities from Axe Throwing to Archery. The Castle will welcome visitors between 7.30am - 9.30am and again between 4.30pm – 6.30pm, to meet the conference and events team, explore the Castle and enjoy refreshments specially prepared in the Norman Kitchen.
“This is a great opportunity to come and see for yourself and experience all the benefits and opportunities that Farnham Castle has to offer as one of the leading conference and events venues in the region,” explains Jeff Toms, marketing and client services director at Farnham Castle. “We will be providing short guided tours of the building, meeting rooms, accommodation and historical attractions including the recent restoration at the Castle.
“In addition, within the Castle’s 5 acres of cultivated gardens, local events company, Country Wide Special Events, will be helping visitors put their skills to the test by allowing them to try Axe Throwing and Archery: said to be the noble sport of kings and one of the country’s oldest pursuits,” continues Toms. “Entertainment and indoor team building activities will also be on offer to guests, as well as displays about the Castle and give-aways to take home.”
The Hogs Back Brewery will be donating some special tasting samples and Eden Blooms of Farnham will supply flowers on the day. Local AV company, Saville Audio Visual, will provide a display of equipment and will be on hand to discuss how to enhance your conference visitors’ experiences.
For further information please visit www.farnhamcastle.com or call 01252 721194
Farnham Castle Backs Waverley Launch of Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
01 July 2011
Local conference and event centre and world renowned intercultural training organisation, Farnham Castle, has backed Waverley Borough Council’s roll-out of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The new scheme run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency aims to give consumers information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat. The scheme was launched in the region by The Mayor, councillor Richard Gates, at a special event held at the Waverly Council offices on 1 June.
“Local authorities are responsible for carrying out inspections of food businesses to check that they meet the requirements of food hygiene law,” explains Phil Hackett, chief executive of Farnham Castle. “The rating given shows how well the business does overall, judged on how hygienically the food is handled, the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation of the building, plus how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.
“A Rating on a scale of 0-5 is awarded,” continues Hackett. “The new scheme encourages businesses to display stickers and certificates showing their allocated rating and in addition, the information is available on-line on the Foods Standards Agency website (www.food.gov.uk) which means complete transparency on this important issue.”
Farnham Castle which offers conference and event facilities recently scored the 5 – “Very Good” highest food hygiene rating. For more information please call 01252 721194 . Information about Farnham Castle can be found at: www.farnhamcastle.co.uk