The Manorview Hotels & Leisure Group, owners of the owners of the Bowfield Hotel and Country Club and The Lynnhurst Hotel has donated £10,000 to the Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society.

The BEN is a charity which offers financial, social and emotional support to people of all ages who have worked in the licensed and hospitality trade.

The organisation has estimated that the hospitality industry currently employs around 280,000 people in Scotland and during the Covid-19 pandemic, around 100,000 of those people could lose their livelihoods.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the hospitality industry was one of the first to close down. The Manorview Group temporarily ceased trading on 18th March 2020. The industry will also be one of the last to fully open out of lockdown. The industry and its workforce are feeling the effects of what is looking like being almost a five-month business interruption period.

The BEN has spoken to many hospitality workers who are facing financial hardship and since the end of March the charity has given over £37,000 in one-off grants. The money has gone to people to help them pay their bills and to enable them to buy food and essentials.

The Manorview Group is a family-run business, which was started in 2007 by Glasgow-based Steve Graham, which includes eight hotels located across the central belt of Scotland.

The Group also employs a workforce of over 500, and have recently shown their commitment to their team, by working towards becoming a real Living Wage employer. The aim is to have this complete by 1st November 2020.

While the Manorview team is coming through this period feeling optimistic, there is a long road to recovery ahead. The team is aware there are worrying and uncertain times ahead for their colleagues in the industry. With a company culture which is focused on helping and supporting others, the team is grateful for this donation to show they care about their friends in hospitality.

The funds will help the Ben charity continue to help crisis hit workers. The charity’s reserves have felt the impact of the pandemic as fundraising events have been cancelled. This led the organisation to launch an emergency Covid-19 appeal. The Manorview Group donation will go towards this appeal.

Steve Graham, Chairman, Manorview Hotels & Leisure Group, said: “We’re in a fortunate position that we can help others. We’re also hearing distressing stories about people struggling to cope financially. There’s a hugely rich, diverse and talented workforce out there and they ensure Scottish hospitality is renowned all over the world. It’s an industry where people learn many valuable skills and have fulfilling careers. Our team care about their friends and colleagues in the industry, and we all support The BEN and their crucial work in providing emotional, social and financial support. There’s a long road ahead for all of us in the industry. We want to give some hope that we can not only survive but thrive and come out of this stronger.”

Chris Gardner, Chief Executive, The BEN Society, said: “We thank Steve and the Manorview team for their tremendously generous donation which will help the charity continue with the critical work we do, now, more so than ever. In these challenging times for all businesses we are most grateful that the BEN is still in your focus. On behalf of the dozens of needy people throughout the drinks and hospitality trade we have helped we thank you.”

Photo: Main image – Steve Graham and Chris Gardner at Boclair House


By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News