Hospitality managers of the future have left their mark at Wentworth Woodhouse.
Students from Sheffield Hallam University’s Business School pitted their brains to help the Preservation Trust make more income.
They came up with new marketing ideas and improvements for the tearoom and wedding receptions at the stately home.
As part of their course, the 28 hospitality management degree students acted as consultants and spent 12 weeks helping Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust staff.
Dr Richard Telling, a Principal Lecturer in the university’s Department of Service Sector Management said: “WWPT contacted our business engagement hub and we were delighted to get involved.
“Our students have never worked with a stately home before for their Hospitality Management Consultancy module. Most projects have been hotels and restaurants. Being born and bred in neighbouring Rawmarsh, I knew of Wentworth Woodhouse and was keen to present students with the challenge of getting to grips with a very different organisation – a visitor attraction at a heritage site.”
The students took house tours, visited the gardens and local area, interviewed staff and took a close look at all hospitality and events.
“They were definitely impressed by the history and mystery surrounding the house and its architecture and came up with new ideas for a number of their services, from the tearoom to the weddings and events offer, and from how to attract more international visitors to the site to assisting WWPT with the design of its new Friends of Wentworth Woodhouse scheme,” added Dr Telling.
Now Sheffield Hallam University has decided to record the part they have played. It has joined in WWPT’s Make Your Mark in History campaign and sponsored a slate for the roof.
The Make Your Mark Campaign has raised over £24,000 since its launch last year, but supporters only have until the end of August to take up the once-in-a-lifetime chance to have a slate inscribed, for a suggested donation of £50.
The appeal will close as vital repairs are due to begin above the state rooms on East Front, where the sponsored tiles will go.
Mark Williamson, Commercial Operations Manager at WWPT said: “Our young consultants made incredible efforts to get under the skin of the house and the projects we had tasked them with.
“As Wentworth Woodhouse starts on its path to sustainability and new life, having young and creative minds come to share their research is incredibly helpful. They were professional, a joy to work with and we have implemented many of their ideas.
“Thanks to our Make Your Mark campaign, we will have another record of the imprint they have left here.”