Redundancies at Chiswick House

Chiswick House losing six posts

Chiswick House is losing six posts. Four are the positions of staff who run the house, which has been closed to the public all season. The other two are in administration.

Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of the Chiswick House Trust told The Chiswick Calendar it was with great regret that she was having to let people go, it had been a difficult decision, but she’s had to be pragmatic and lose posts in the areas which are not bringing in any money.

Many more businesses are going through the same process of deciding to close jobs once their staff are no longer covered by the Government’s furlough scheme at the end of October. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said last week that he was not able to save every job.

Images above: Auctioneer Adrian Biddell, Head of Paintings & Fine Art at Chiswick Auctions, with Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of Chiswick House Trust and Cllr Tony Louki, Mayor of Hounslow

Auction raises over £40,000

Xanthe launched a campaign at the beginning of the summer to try and replace the money they’ve lost from the cancellation of commercial events.

“The community of Chiswick has been fantastic” she said.

The charity auction held on Saturday 26 September raised more than £40,000, taking Chiswick House Trust up to the full amount the campaign sought to raise by the end of September.

Adrian Biddell, Head of Paintings & Fine Art at Chiswick Auctions, conducted the auction, which had 40 lots. The lot which raised the most cash was ‘Eat Like an Earl’, a dinner for up to 16 people to be held at Chiswick House, provided by Chiswick House’s contracted caterers The Food Show. The dinner went for £6,100.

Chiswick House reaches its £120,000 target

“It was a huge amount of Work” said Xanthe, “there were lots of volunteers helping out” but the last push to raise £120,000 by the end of September – £1,000 a day since the launch of the campaign – paid off.

The Lego fundraiser, launched at the same time by the Friends of Chiswick House, has raised £20,000 so far. The Lego model of Chiswick House is only half built so there is plenty of time to contribute still to its completion.

The money raised has covered some overhead Xanthe told us. “It has bought us some time. We couldn’t have done it without the magnificent support of the community in Chiswick”

She and her team have redrawn their business plan. “We need to reduce our reliance on commercial events”. Lightopia, the Chinese lantern sculpture show was booked in for this autumn and was briefly advertised, but they pulled out because they considered they couldn’t make enough profit to make it worthwhile, with the cost of the extra Covid safety measures they would have had to put in place.

Instead Xanthe and her team are looking at more opportunities for children to use the grounds regularly, volunteering roles and a deepening of the relationship with the local community. They are working towards the reopening of the house next year.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Buy a Lego brick to support Chiswick House

See also: Chiswick House gets emergency cash from the National Lottery