Welcome to Oakleigh Fairs, premier promoter of Craft, Food, Country & Christmas Fairs
It is with a very heavy heart that we write the statement we thought and hoped we would never have to write. But sadly, after 16 seasons of running Oakleigh Fairs (Oakleigh Event Management Ltd) we are writing to let you know that we are having to close the business with immediate effect.
This is purely down to Covid-19. The Events Industry has been left behind in all the national/regional/ local discussions about business support, and this is not just our opinion. Our Trade Association the ASEO as well as TESA have all been working very hard behind the scenes to get some kind of clarity from DCMS and the Minister Oliver Dowden himself, but none of us are any the wiser. We have not been able to trade since March 2020 and indeed have taken no monies in either deposits or balances for cancelled/postponed shows since then (we felt it immoral to do so if we weren’t certain that an event was going ahead).
We have reached a situation where we are unable to pay our staff, even with the furlough scheme, and so we have had to make everyone redundant which is heartbreaking. We have no tangible assets within Oakleigh Fairs, so our winding up will all be handled by the Government Insolvency Service, as will staff redundancy.
You will all no doubt have many comments to make and questions to ask; the main one will most likely be ‘what will happen with my deposit?’ and whilst this is a perfectly legitimate question, you may well not like the legitimate answer. Most of you recognise that the deposits are non-refundable according to our Ts and Cs if events cannot go ahead due to circumstances beyond our control – we were hoping to roll these deposits on to next year’s shows, but this will now not be possible. If you would like to pursue us through the courts, then of course you are perfectly legally allowed to do so, but we feel we should let you know that this may be a fairly fruitless exercise.
Please can we ask that rather than giving us a big kicking, you give us – our family (many of you know us all very well) a period of time to digest and manage all of this; we appreciate you may well be angry with us and we can understand that everyone is trying to make a living in a world that has literally turned upside down, but perhaps now is the time we should all be trying to empathise with one another, albeit in very, very difficult times.
Our industry, if it is to survive, deserves to have a future for all of us who have literally given pretty much everything to make it work.
If you have any queries, please can you email this address, which of course will be monitored although sporadically. Once our paperwork has been assimilated by the Government Insolvency Service, we really don’t know how long our phone lines will be open.
We have had an amazing sixteen years running Oakleigh Fairs and feel privileged to have met so many wonderful people, been to some amazing venues and experienced the extremely wide range of British weather! It just leaves us to say thank you for your support over the years, sorry that circumstances have come to this and we wish you all the very best in these uncertain times and, with luck, we hope to see you in the future in happier times.
With all of our best wishes, signing off
Charlie, Emma and the rest of the Oakleigh team.