- Dan Allman, Leisure Duty Manager
Covid-19 has shown the true importance of community. So, venues such as the Grange School in Hartford, Cheshire, which is reopening its facilities for hire, have been at the heart of helping people to reconnect. As lockdown eases, BookingsPlus from Kajima Community has helped The Grange School to power a safe and effective phased reopening of their facilities.
Until this year, The Grange School was using a basic and arduous excel-based system to manually manage bookings, invoicing and reporting, before being introduced to the school lettings platform, BookingsPlus by their new Leisure Duty Manager, who had previously used BookingsPlus to manage a portfolio of 12 venues.
Not only did the transition to BookingsPlus streamline the booking and payment process for clients through its accessible online portal, it has freed up between 15-20 hours of the week which can now be dedicated to other areas of focus, including marketing, business development and health and safety planning. Following lockdown, BookingsPlus has supported the school to prepare and manage its reopening to the public.
For The Grange School, the reasons to begin reopening their facilities were multiple: to be a supportive presence and space for the community, ensuring that they could safely implement a soft reopening as a blueprint for further facilities and to both protect and enhance revenue streams. To manage this effectively, BookingsPlus played a vital part in supporting a staggered reopening beginning with a relaunch of outdoor facilities.
Undeniably, reopening has presented logistical and practical challenges, with preparations including comprehensive risk assessments, integration of track and trace policies and new robust cleaning processes. The Leisure Duty Manager and team have established new footfall routes for entrance and exit through its facilities and limiting spectators even for outside events — all in preparation for a soft opening this month, so that new processes can be monitored and assessed ahead of a full reopening with the return to school in September.
BookingsPlus provided the school with easy tools for contacting clients, cancelling existing bookings in lockdown and communicating on reopening, which has attracted enquiries from clubs and groups as far away as Wales, as well as managing space safely, for example blocking out time between bookings for safe entry, exit and cleaning procedures. Throughout, customer support has been on hand to provide full assistance to the lettings management team, with a dedicated Customer Service Manager on hand to resolve any issues immediately.
BookingsPlus has become even more important to The Grange School in helping to manage a safe reopening and to navigate the new challenges of Covid-19. Crucially, this is has helped to retain and instil confidence not only in returning clients, but also new clubs and groups looking to reconnect with the community through safe, best-in-class facilities. Over time, The Grange School envisions using BookingsPlus throughout its estate, extending to classrooms and other facilities and helping the community to come together again, safely, following Covid-19.