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MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR FUNCTIONS AT BATTEL HALL

 

Overview:

Battel Hall is going through a major redecoration, with the design work being carried out by nationally renowned interior designer. On its completion, Battel Hall will comprise of a dining room and two breakout spaces (drawing room & library) and five en-suite bedrooms. It will be a high end home for hosting exclusive house parties, corporate events and small intimate weddings within the venue and occasionally marquee weddings for up to 100 guests. 

We believe Battel Hall’s extraordinary history, its unique position as part of the Leeds Castle estate and the exquisite layout created by an imaginative interior designer, will pull it apart from the run of the mill.  Additionally the romantic gardens and top class catering will help establish it as something special.

Target Audience:

·         UK and overseas small niche group travel and special interest groups

·         Family house parties and special occasions  

·         Corporates – board meetings, away days, small business meetings, training days

·         Weddings – smaller, more intimate, vow renewals

·         Golfing groups

Objectives:

·         To offer guests luxury and tranquillity in refined surroundings at Battel Hall

·         Be strong advocates for using fresh local produce and vineyards

·         To protect and maintain Battel Hall, the venue, grounds and interiors.

·         Offering the same high standards of service and customer care appreciated by customers of Leeds Castle

Type of events:

It is understood that events will not be undertaken that put at risk either the fabric of the Hall and Gardens or the reputation of Leeds Castle Foundation. The majority of events will focus around wedding ceremonies and celebrations, dinners, canapé receptions, Leisure overnight stays, corporate away days, meetings and conferences. High-risk events such as 18th/21st birthday celebrations will not be permitted.

 

 

 

Room

Usage

Capacity

Dining room

Lunches & dinners,

wedding ceremonies

24

40

Drawing room

Board room meetings

118

Library

Board room meetings

8

Gardens

Wedding ceremony and receptions. private dining

100

Combined ground floor function space

Drinks receptions

buffets

50

30

Bedrooms

Overnight guests

2 adults per room (some rooms with space for 1 to 2 cots or children’s z beds.)

 

Frequency:

The number of events will be reviewed regularly between the Hospitality Manager, Head Gardener and Curator to assess the impact of the Hall.

Marquee events in Battel Hall gardens will be limited to 13 a year.

Diary planning

Leeds Castle hospitality sales team and the House Manager will take enquiries for bookings and carry out show rounds for potential private parties, weddings and conference bookings. The reception and accommodation team will handle holiday letting enquiries and group travel bookings.

Upon receiving a provisional / confirmed booking, the house manager will enter it into Battel Hall’s diary.  The event planning will be carried out by the Sales Team and the House Manager in the same format as Leeds Castle.

Battel Hall House Manager will advise Leeds Parish council of confirmed outdoor functions requiring amplified music as the booking confirms. The Parish Council will feature the booking and date on their community website.

Each event will have operational notes which will be circulated across the estate,  including  Maintenance, gardener, Curator and security.

 At the weekly Operational Estate Meeting each event will be discussed with attendees cascading information down through their teams.

All of Battel Halls functions will be discussed in more detail at the Weekly Hospitality Management Meeting to ensure staffing levels and operational details are correct.

Functions:

No Hall furniture may be moved unless by prior agreement with the function Manager/Curator. Historic objects may only be moved by curators, or permanent members of Leeds Castle staff with suitable training, providing permission has been gained in advance from the Curator

 

 

The House Manager will advise the client of the following restrictions at Battel Hall:

·         Red wine and other deep coloured/staining drinks can only be served during seated dinners

·         No black, blue or red berries to be served in any form. 

·         No smoking permitted within the Hall

·         Battel Hall will be a licensed premise no alcohol is to be served to under 18’s. ID will be required for proof of age.

Floristry:

Only the Leeds Castle Floristry team are to provide floral arrangements within the House and wedding ceremony venue.

·         No water is allowed in floral arrangements.  Oasis bases and weighted vases only.

·         Candles can be used on dining tables and are to be provided by the floristry team. Any          candles not placed on tables must be placed in lanterns.

 

Fireworks are not permitted

Smoking inside the venue is not permitted, a smoking area will be allocated within the grounds away from doorways and with suitable receptacle for extinguishing cigarettes and cigars.

Exploding balloons, confetti cannons, flutter fetti, detonation devices, dry ice, smoke machines, foam machines, and paper confetti are strictly prohibited anywhere inside the Hall and grounds. Rose petals and bubbles will be allowed outside during wedding photographs.

Helium filled balloons may be used outside so long as the canister used to inflate them is kept well clear of the Hall. Flambeaus/flaming torches/candles/sparklers may be used outside with prior permission of the House Manager and only in locations agreed with the Function Manager and Head Gardener providing firefighting equipment is placed nearby. Clients are not able to use any confetti – only biodegradable pale coloured rose petals.

Leeds Castle Foundation operates a zero tolerance policy on drugs.  Any guests found using or distributing drugs will be removed from the premises.

Customers car Parking

As with functions at the Castle, Battel Hall will have function staff to look after the guests parking, welcome, carrying bags, check into bedrooms, answering questions and directing throughout the function. These staff are provided purely to look after the guests and they will accompany guests to their cars and taxi’s, whilst assisting their egress they will actively promote and encourage a quiet departure. 

This supervision of car parks at critical times especially late at night will prevent loitering, chatting or inconsiderate and noisy driving. Signs will promote respect for our neighbours, emphasise the need to refrain from shouting, slamming car doors, sounding horns and loud use of vehicle stereos.

 

 

 

Small residential events, parking for guests:

Parking in front of the Hall and behind Castle View Oast for residential guests.

Guests to be advised not to park on Burberry Lane, causing upset to neighbours.

Larger marquee events, parking for residential guests;

Drop off to unload at front door, directed to park in Leeds & Broomfield Cricket ground across from Battel Hall in the designated parking.

Larger marquee events, parking for non-residential guests:

Parking on site in front of Hall or behind Castle View Oast    

Cars may be left overnight at owner’s risk.    

Car parking for staff:

Battel Hall staff should park in the field car park in the first instance but may move to the on-site parking if there proves to be room.

Approved suppliers

Clients must undertake to use Leeds Castle Hospitality approved suppliers. The list of suppliers will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and is non-negotiable unless there is a specific area of expertise that is not covered.

All suppliers will sign a Supplier Agreement and undergo an auditing procedure. For marquee events where the catering is not provided by the in-house team the contract caterers will require a full Food Audit from our approved contractor, together with references and appropriate levels of insurance. This is generally a minimum of £5m public liability.

Only catering suppliers on the Leeds Castle approved list are permitted to work at the venue.  In extreme circumstances, at the clients cost and with approval of the Hospitality Manager another supplier will be considered. 

Gardens and external seating

Guest to Battel Hall will enjoy the garden as part of their time at the Hall. We will provide outdoor seating and serve refreshments in the garden. As far as practicable these will be sited away from residential properties and screened by local buildings or walls. Signs will be used to advise guests of noise sensitive areas, which we be checked and enforced by the management staff during the day and evening.

 

 

 

 

Outdoor music at functions

No more than 4 musicians / singers to perform at one time, to be provided from an approved supplier list, position of musicians to be agreed with the function manager prior to the event, not blocking emergency exits or access routes. All equipment must be PAT tested.

Music and amplified sound will cease by midnight on up to 20 days per year. Maximum volume noise levels will be set during the sound check prior to any event, special consideration will be given to bass frequencies, loud speakers will be pointed away and located as far away from noise sensitive properties as possible.

Outdoor music volume

Music volume will be strictly controlled and monitored in accordance with the Noise Management Plan.

Amplified outdoor music, whether live or recorded can only be agreed in advance of the function, will always end promptly at midnight. The Function Manager will monitor and control the noise level using a simple sound meter and/or a noise level warning indicator. Should residents have concerns and wish to contact the Function Manager during an event the number to call is on 01622 767870, this line is manned by Leeds Castle control room security team who will be in radio contact with the Function Manager.

Staffing

The Hospitality Business Manager will take overall responsibility for the running of the Battel Hall and will direct her management team to carry out the day to day running of the venue.

Battel Hall will have a House manager to run the venue, who will be supported by the function team operating at Leeds Castle. For larger functions, the footmen and function staff from the Castle will support the house manager with set up, check in, car parking and manning the function to ensure the upmost customer care is offered.

The house Manager or duty manager will remain on duty until the close of every event and the guests departure or retire to bed if residential.

Leeds Castles security team will patrol Battel Hall as part of its overnight route; the control room will monitor and man the cameras from the control room at Leeds Castle. Overnight staff and guests will be able to ring the control room and the patrolling staff will respond to the site if required.

The Hospitality Operations Manager will have overall control of the kitchen and banqueting staff and areas of operation, the profitability of the food and beverage element of a function and the health and safety.

The Castle housekeeping team will manage the housekeeping duties of the function rooms and bedrooms, operating as they currently do when working off site at holiday cottages using the House keeping vans.

The gardens will be looked after by the Head Gardener and his team, there will be a vegetable and herb garden to supple the kitchen with home grown produce.

The safety, upkeep and maintenance of the venue and bedrooms will be managed by the Facilities Manager and his team.

Invoicing and account management will be handled by the LC Accounts department, processes to be put in place for the taking and banking of cash and credit card sales taken at Battel Hall. To be administrated by the Cash Desk at LC.

Servicing the venue

Deliveries will only be allowed between the hours of 8.00 – 18.00 hours. Only delivery vans up to a transit van size can supply to Battel Hall. This can be managed by the purchase of fresh local produce per function.

For kitchen deliveries temporary parking in front of the Hall with access via the side     entrance. Under no circumstances should suppliers park, unload or wait on Burberry Lane.

The team within Battel Hall will recycle as much waste as possible. Staff will be sensitive to the noise this can create. Refuse/recycling stores will be located away from residential areas and no bottle recycling will be carried out during evening functions, this activity will wait until the following day.

Refuse/ recycling collection will be managed by the Leeds Castle maintenance team using small vehicles and removing to the main waste and sorting site based at Leeds Castle Estate. Food waste will be removed daily to prevent smell and rodents.

Marquee weddings

We understand that hosting weddings in marquees could impact on the local community living near Battel Hall and our management team and function staff will have consideration upmost in their minds for the local community. Staff briefings and operational working will focus on working quietly as we currently do in all our venues where guests are sleeping in the same building as staff setting up for functions late nights or early mornings.

It would be our intention to manage the type of bookings we take, through the way we advertise and the content of the hiring contract to ensure we minimise the impact as much as possible.

We would work with only our own approved marquee supplier and we would take responsibility for the hiring of the marquee and the timings of get in and break down.

Clients would only be able to use our approved entertainment, be it a DJ or live music. We would limit the number of performers and the types of instruments for live music. Written into the client contract and that of the performer would be a maximum sound level acceptable and a strict end time of midnight for all amplified music to end.

We would have a dedicated manager on site throughout all functions to manage the event, the guests and the egress.

 

 

 

Timetable for marquee wedding:

Day before wedding;

10.00am Delivery of marquee to site, complete set up with contractor off site by 3.00pm

Battel Halls own staff will set up the interior of the marquee using our own equipment housed in the store below Castle view oast.

On the day of the wedding;

10.00am Wedding party check into bedrooms, car park off site

Set up of wedding ceremony and reception continues by Battel Halls own staff

12.00 noon remaining residential guests check into bedrooms, car park off site

1.00pm Non-residential guests arrive and park on site (for swifter and quieter egress)

2.00pm wedding ceremony takes place in garden. Either recorded music or a harpist or string trio to play. No amplified music or microphones used for the ceremony

2.30 – 3.30pm drinks and photographs within grounds

3.30 – 6.30pm wedding breakfast and speeches – no microphones required

6.30 -7.30 guests mingle as entertainment arrives to set up

7.30 -12.00 evening party with dancing, music and evening buffet

No more than 2 musicians and 1 singer, or DJ. Function manager to be in charge of testing sound levels and managing performers.

10.00 – 12.30 a member of Battel Hall staff to be on the venue reception (front door) and assist guests to their cars and organise taxis. Encouraging a quiet departure, being considerate of our neighbours.

12.00 midnight residential guests move inside Battel Hall for run down and end of function.

Day after wedding

10.00am residential guests depart being assisted with their luggage to their cars by Battel Hall staff

10.00am Marquee Company arrives to break down the marquee and be off site by 2.00pm