Looking for a covid-secure event venue? Look no… | Selby College
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Looking for a covid-secure event venue? Look no further!

Wednesday 16 June 2021

By Ian Wardle, Estates Manager at Selby College

Finding the perfect venue for an event can be hard at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. During this period, events have to be carefully planned and Covid-19 secure measures must be implemented if they are to go ahead safely and securely (and legally). That is why it’s important to find a venue with a team you can work cohesively with you to ensure that not only your needs are met, but that restrictions are also abided to during these challenging times.

At Selby College, we have a variety of rooms available to hire for meetings, conferences, sporting events and much more. Situated just outside of Selby town centre and in close proximity to the train station, our state-of-the-art campus offers a range of modern spaces. We also offer free on-site parking which can be reserved for your event, as well as free Wi-Fi across the campus for all guests.

In May this year, we held the Election Count for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Election, Camblesforth and Carlton Ward By-Election and Parish Election for Church Fenton 2021, on behalf of Selby District Council. Although this wasn’t the first time we’ve held an election event at the College – we previously hosted the Selby and Ainsty Constituency Election Count in December 2019 – Covid-19 restrictions presented new challenges we needed to overcome.

A great deal of forward planning went into the event to ensure that we could create a safe and Covid-secure environment. Our Events Team at the College regularly met with members of Selby District Council leading up to the count to outline plans and their needs.

The College’s Jubilee building and wider site were well-placed to provide an excellent venue for the count. Thanks to our spacious sports hall, 80 tables were set up for the count whilst adhering to social distancing rules. We covered all tables with a plastic covering to guarantee a continuous clean working space and placed Perspex screens along the table fronts. Social distancing and one-way walkways were also set up, as well as increased hand sanitisation stands to make the event as Covid-compliant as possible.

In addition to this, we also organised designated parking, event security, first aid provision, catering and room use, along with equipment hire, signage, a PA system and a traffic management plan for the drop-off of the ballot boxes at College.

A control room was also set up for key members of the Elections Team, with telephone lines and WiFi provided. Our College Network Manager was also on hand to provide IT support to guarantee that the event went as smoothly as possible.

Overall, the event was a huge success and went off without a hitch – all whilst the College continued to operate as normal alongside the event. The level of work our team put into the event was greatly appreciated by the Elections Team and we received some extremely positive feedback from Selby District Council and those that attended.

“I would just like to say thank you to the Estates Manager Ian Wardle and the rest of the team for their unwavering support and assistance during the preparation for the Count. I know how much personal time and energy you all put into this and I am really grateful and for your complete dedication to the detail to make sure that venue for count for the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner was safe and secure – especially under the spotlight of Covid-19. Your experience and attention to detail created a calm, professional and relaxed environment. The sports hall at Selby College is again the best venue we have used and I received compliments from candidates, agents and staff regarding the venue. The Covid-19 compliant layout of the rooms offered the opportunity for the candidates, their agents and the count staff to undertake their roles in relaxed way. The parking was also plentiful and easy to access. The team were fantastic and we all felt cared for – nothing was ever too much trouble and we felt welcome as valued customers.”

Janet Waggott, Chief Executive at Selby District Council