Wildes Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Wildes Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Wildes Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Managing Director Marc Wildes
Van Dyk by Wildes,
Wildes Group is a multifaceted business that was
established in 2009. Director Marc Wildes developed
Loaf Hair salons and House of W in South Yorkshire
and Cheshire, before later expanding to five salons. The business
now employs over 150 members of staff and apprentices. In
2010, the group founded Wildes Education in Sheffield. The
company’s growth has since included the Hampton by Hilton
Hotel in Exeter, the Holiday Inn Express in Crewe and the Holiday
Inn Express in Hoylake, Wirral. These were then followed by the
acquisition of Van Dyk Country House Hotel, Chesterfield in
November 2016. The Hampton by Hilton was sold in 2014.
My business ethos is grounded in working hard to grow businesses that integrate
with each other, create employment, training and career paths with a clear aim
to strengthen the local economy via an ethos whereby all of our management
team promote the importance of sourcing skills and products at a local level
Range of projects
Our latest project is the redevelopment of the luxurious Van Dyk by Wildes, situated
in the picturesque Derbyshire countryside. This redevelopment involves the addition
of 54 bedrooms and suites, greater banqueting space, specialised restaurants and
bars as well as luxury spa and health facilities. This multi-million-pound development
links perfectly with the company’s educational portfolio, with many of the skills being
taught leading directly to employment opportunities within this type of development.
»Managing Director:
»Founded in 2009
»Based in Sheffield
»Services: Hospitality,
education, hair and beauty
»No. of employees: 162
»No. of students: 462
»Turnover: £6.4 million
»Apprenticeships delivered:
Wildes Group
Highlighting best practice
Our apprenticeships combine real
on-the-job training with learning
modules, allowing employees to apply
knowledge and skills to their job roles
with support and coaching from our
industry specialists.
This gives the employees the
foundation knowledge and first-hand
experience to continuously develop
and build on their skillset; the nature
of our qualifications gives us the
opportunity to be able to deliver to
both existing and new members of
staff. As part of our apprenticeship
service, we provide all of our customers
with a high-standard complimentary
recruitment service which supports the
sourcing of high calibre candidates.
Wildes Education has supported over
4,500 apprentices and over 2,000 local
employers in the last eight years and
we continue to develop our offer to
meet regional and national objectives
as well as meeting local requirements.
The Holiday Inn Express, Hoylake
in particular has created a business
model that attracts guests to the
neighbouring Royal Liverpool Golf
Club, Anfield Football Stadium and
the Royal Albert Docks, which in turn
greatly benefits the expanding tourist
business within the area.
My aim for the hotels is to provide
100 per cent customer satisfaction.
We aim to provide an excellent visitor
experience to all guests who pass
through our doors with the hope that
this will continuously support the build
of repeat business.
Raising standards
I have a strong sense of pride in the
success of Wildes Education. Through
our constant engagement with both
local and national employers and other
service providers, many of our students
have progressed to achieve their
personal and career objectives.
In 2017, Wildes Education transformed
from a subcontractor delivering on
behalf of other training providers
to a direct contract holder with the
Education Skills Funding Agency.
This was achieved by the focus of
offering training, in line with the
demand for skills, via a high-quality
apprenticeship programme in key
areas: hairdressing, barbering,
hospitality services, business services,
management and team leading as well
as health and social care.
My role within the group is the
strategic direction of all four
companies and to effectively generate
the synergy and general morale within
the organisations.
Marc Wildes
Our apprenticeships combine real
on-the-job training with learning
modules, allowing employees to
apply knowledge and skills to their
job roles with support and coaching
from our industry specialists
I have a responsibility to ensure that
each company is meeting a high
standard of quality and equality as
well as promoting these values within
It is important to emphasise the work
we undertake in recognising the
abilities of all our staff and significantly
promoting diversity in employment and
equality of opportunity.
I encourage all of my team to follow
the same goals in order to create
workplace conditions that are
comfortable and beneficial toeveryone.
As a business our policies and
procedures are reviewed regularly to
ensure that we are constantly adapting
with changes in legislation as well as
continuing to improve opportunities
for all.
As the managing director, I am
overall responsible for the group’s
performance. I strive to always have a
strong senior management team that
are fully empowered and supportive of
our company values.
To preserve the smooth running of the
day to day business regular meetings
are held to discuss achievements
and triumphs; sharing best practice
is extremely important as each
department supports the other.
Added value
Within the last two years, the group
has proudly raised and donated in
excess of £100,000 for local charitable
causes and I strongly believe that this
has supported local people.
As well as collaborating with both
national and local charities to support
their work, we also make our facilities
As the leader of the organisation it
is my responsibility to ensure that all
strategic and organisational goals are
reached to their absolute potential and
make sure that each team member
is aware of the importance of their
contribution to the overall business
plan, be it student recruitment,
developing our professional training
programmes, working in the hotel
operations or marketing and providing
our facilities to third-sector parties.
Over the past six years, both the
business and I have won a number of
key awards.
These include the Sheffield Chamber of
Commerce Businessman of the Year in
2013, South Yorkshire Business Awards
Outstanding Business of the Year for
Wildes Education in 2015, Sheffield
Business Person of the Year in 2017,
magazine Wedding Venue of the
Year 2018 and the LUX Life award
for Derbyshire’s Most Outstanding
Country House Hotel 2019.
A credited Matrix quality standard
for information, advice and guidance
services for Wildes Education is also
amongst the list of awards that have
been achieved by team members.
None of this would have been
achievable without the hard work
and dedication from both myself and
by each member of my team and we
all look forward to the continuous
development of the group.
I strive to always
have a strong
team that are
empowered and
supportive of
our company
Holiday Inn Express,


This article was sponsored by Wildes Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster