Village Hotel Club, the lifestyle brand where hotel, business and health and fitness all come together, has launched a new campaign – Village Green – which reflects and promotes the local communities it works in. On 20th May, to celebrate the opening of its 30th UK hotel in Bristol, Village announced three new celebrity ambassadors and a roll-out of the campaign across all 30 UK hotels.
The ambassadors – Sir Mo Farah, Baroness Karren Brady CBE and Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown – each announced a brand-new programme of activities that they’ve co-created with the hotel group to help the communities they operate in thrive, specifically through a series of fitness, business and food and drink initiatives.
Gary Davis, Executive Chairman of Village Hotel Club, said: “Village Green was launched to demonstrate the unique way in which Village Hotel Club has diversified to face competition within the hotel industry, as well as the challenges posed by Brexit and its associated uncertainty.
“We created Village Green because Village Hotels genuinely offers much more than a hotel room. In fact, 80% of our revenue comes from local business and social community. This is because we act as the local pub for many communities. We support and promote fitness and offer access to affordable state of the art gym facilities in areas that are out of town or otherwise may not have these. And we bring in local businesses and give them a place to connect, network and run their businesses in an affordable way, outside of the big cities.”
Village Green is part of Village Hotel Club’s long-term expansion plans. It recently announced a £500 million investment into opening an additional 20 hotels in the UK by 2025, with the next hotels set to open in: Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Cambridge, Reading, Milton Keynes and Slough.
Outside of the UK, Executive Chairman Gary Davis recently announced that while the UK remains its prime focus, international expansion is being developed with the US, Europe and Asia all in its future plans from 2022.
The campaign sees its hotels commit over 30,000 hours per year to volunteering in the local community. In addition, each of the 30 gym teams will spend one day per month supporting local sporting groups and events as part of its wider commitment to encourage health and wellness.
Sir Mo Farah – Community Fitness Ambassador
As Britain’s most ever track athlete, Sir Mo Farah will take on the role of Fitness Ambassador, based on the shared belief with Village that good physical fitness and emotional wellbeing are at the root of healthy communities.
As part of this, Sir Mo is calling for greater access to fitness facilities for local communities, especially in hard-to-reach areas, with Village Gym staff pledging time and expertise to help children from the local community. On 20th May, Sir Mo worked with a number of local school kids from Little Stoke Primary School, surprising them by joining in with their fitness class and giving them fun tips for staying fit and healthy.
To inspire and motivate all ages to take care of their health, Sir Mo also launched the new ‘Motion’ fitness class at the event, featuring elements of his own training, for Village Gym members.
Sir Mo will also launch a huge fitness challenge later this year, to be announced in the coming months.
Talking about his role, Sir Mo said: “Obviously fitness is a huge part of my life, and as a dad of four, it’s important to me that I pass on this mentality to my kids so we all reap the benefits of being as active as possible. That’s why I am working with Village Hotel Club and Village Gym as its Community Fitness Ambassador to motivate communities around the UK – from kids to mums and dads and everyone inbetween – to get fit and active. Ultimately I want to see even more gyms and fitness centres open up to the community and think about how they can pass on their expertise in the same way that Village is doing.”
Formidable business woman Baroness Karren Brady CBE is joining forces with Village Hotel Club to help nurture and grow local businesses across the country, with the launch of ‘VWorks’ – Village’s work space that supports and promotes the needs of local businesses by offering flexible office space for local businesses to connect and network.
Yesterday, Karren kicked off the Group’s new series of business seminars to be hosted by influential business leaders, with an inspiring talk at Bristol and livestreamed to the other 29 hotels. She spoke about both her journey to the top of the business world, and how she’s stayed there.
She also launched the VWorks Awards, coming soon in the Autumn, alongside a pitch-style competition which will celebrate local businesses and inject much needed funds and investment into winners.
Of her new role as Business Ambassador, Baroness Karren Brady CBE, said: “I’ve long championed entrepreneurs and SMEs, making it a priority through my career to ensure that the concerns of small business owners are listened to at the highest levels and that they receive all the support they need to prosper. Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, and in these uncertain times, we need to champion their success more than ever before. Village Hotel’s shared working spaces or VWorks clubs, are often in smaller or out of town locations, outside the bigger business centres and cities, where businesses may not always receive the support that they need. Together we will work with these local businesses all over the UK, offering opportunities to connect, network and inspire to ensure ongoing prosperity.”
Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown is joining forces with Village Hotel Club to launch Village Hotel Club’s new ‘Hospitality Heroes’ initiative. This is a new commitment by the hotel group that will see each Village offer skills, employment and mentoring to local communities in catering and hospitality.
This will kick off in Bristol for the first time, where Candice will open the kitchen of the hotel to local hospitality college students from South Gloucester College, enabling them to put their studied theory into practice. With lucky guests yesterday honoured as the first taste-testers, Candice will launch ‘Candice’s Afternoon Tea’ this Summer – a bespoke menu curated by Candice, that will be available every Saturday across Village Hotel Clubs in the UK.
Discussing why she is partnering with Village, Candice said: “I have always been involved in the world of hospitality, from growing up in pubs to watching my grandmother baking and cooking. I realise now how lucky I am to have been immersed in this world from a young age, and the impact that has had on my career, from winning Bake Off in 2016 to now owning and running my own pub. That’s why I am working with Village Hotel Club as its Food and Drink Ambassador and launching “Hospitality Heroes” – a new mentoring scheme which will see myself and Village chefs work with catering students around the UK to develop their skills. This partnership will give me the chance to work with young people all over the UK and heopfully instil some of the same passion that I have for this industry.”
Paul Roberts, CEO of Village Hotel Club, said: “We’ve always been proud of the fact that Village Hotel Club is much more than somewhere just to sleep for the night. Instead, we’re a place where locals and guests alike enjoy the broad range of activities we have on offer – from dining at our pub and grill on match days, to working out with our fabulous fitness team or networking with local businesses at our business clubs. Sir Mo, Baroness Karren and Candice are the perfect trio to bring this commitment to life, and we can’t wait to share everything we’ve got planned over the coming months.”