Padstow holiday park owner Patrick Langmaid has handed a £600,000 buying contract to a UK holiday caravan manufacturer – because it believes in paying its staff a living wage.
Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park will be taking delivery of 25 luxury holiday homes from the firm, ABI, which recently became an accredited member of the Living Wage Foundation charity.
The deal was finalised at the Royal Cornwall Show this week (06 June) when ABI’s chairman Mel Copper travelled down from the company’s HQ in Beverley, near Hull.
But the celebrations at the Wadebridge show were two-fold because the previous day in London, Patrick Langmaid was in the spotlight at the annual Living Wage awards ceremony.
There he was announced as the winner of a Living Wage Champions Award 2019 for his tireless work to promote the principles of ethical employment and the Living Wage.
In January 2015, Mother Ivey’s became the first holiday park in Britain to be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, and Patrick has since campaigned for other businesses to join him.
ABI, which employs around 550 staff, is one of the latest firms to win accreditation from the charity – and Patrick said that this was a major factor influencing his purchasing decision:
“We regularly update our holiday homes at Mother Ivey’s with the latest models so that guests can enjoy the very best standards of accommodation on offer,” he said.
“In Britain we have a world-class holiday caravan and lodge manufacturing industry, and there are a number of other excellent suppliers we could have opted for.
“However, ABI is the only firm accredited with Living Wage status in this sector, and holds the same beliefs as us about the value of paying a real living wage.
“Like us, I’m sure they will find many long-term benefits in terms of retaining staff, building their enthusiasm and loyalty, and widening the number of satisfied customers as a result.
“We are not anticipating placing future orders with any company other than ABI,” added Patrick whose park employs around 25 full and part-time staff in high season.
The Living Wage Foundation says the real living wage is £9.00 an hour outside London, based on an estimation of how much people need to live, including housing costs, travel and childcare.
Over the past few years, Patrick has been championing the real living wage across Cornwall, and especially to businesses engaged in tourism and hospitality.
“Cornwall is a fantastic holiday destination and a premium brand which attracts many thousands of visitors each year, and there is really no excuse for low pay,” he said.