Dillington House closure – September 2023





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Dillington House closure – September 2023

In Sept 2022 Somerset County Council (SCC) took the difficult decision to activate a break clause in the lease and cease its activities at Dillington House from 30 September 2023.  SCC has leased the 16th Century Grade 2 listed country house since September 1966 – initially for adult/community education and more recently as a venue for meetings/ conferences and various events such as weddings.

Operations in the building currently run at a substantial loss and this decision will enable public monies and resources to be focused on the Council’s statutory duties such as Childrens and Adult social care.

Will events or courses I have booked to attend before September 2023 be affected?

No, it’s very much business as usual until 30 September 2023.

SCC adjusted the terms of its lease so it could continue running its activities until the end of September 2023, avoiding disruption to academic courses run by Somerset Centre for Integrated Learning (SCIL) and also enabling it to honour the majority of its existing bookings at Dillington – including weddings booked throughout 2023.

We are determined to ensure that customers visiting Dillington throughout 2023 experience the same high quality of service that they would have received in previous years.

What will happen with the staff?

Staff will be supported in finding alternative employment, especially within the Council where appropriate, to minimise redundancies.

A staff retention scheme has been agreed to incentivise and reward those employees who continue to work at Dillington until it ceases operation on 30 Sept 23.

What will happen to the Tutors of Adult Education courses?

The Tutors are self employed and already provide courses at other venues, other than Dillington. We are also talking with other venues who provide adult/community education courses to understand their offer and help signpost tutors and customers to them.

Who are these providers and where can I now go for Community Education courses.

There are a number of organisations within and close to Somerset, which provide a range of community education courses.  We are currently talking to a number of these organisations , with the aim of providing links to their course information.

Further details to follow.

What will happen to Dillington House after September 2023?

The main house and surrounding buildings will be handed back to the landlords, who own the surrounding Dillington Estate.  We don’t have any further information at this point on future plans for the House.

Will the Shindig Festival continue to take place at Dillington?

Yes, the event is arranged through the Dillington estate and not affected by SCC ceasing its activities at Dillington.

The event is currently taking place between the 25-28 May 2023.

Home – Shindig Festival – 25th – 28th May 2023