Wickwoods County Club, Hotel & Spa
Wickwoods just a country home when it was sold at auction at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton in 1954. The particulars described it as being set in a delightful sylvan setting close to Brighton and the South Downs - this is as true today as it was back then. Eventually, during the 1970’s, the house was turned into a private country club, and in 1979, Wickwoods first opened its doors.
After more than 30 years of trading, Wickwoods had been badly neglected and the fabric of the building and its facilities were all but derelict. The recession compounded Wickwoods’ decline and it looked unlikely that the business could be resurrected.
In early 2010 the party was over. Wickwoods had closed its doors forever it seemed and, aside from the loss of a great venue and club, locals lost their jobs and local suppliers lost an important client. In March 2010, Lee Goossens, who was the owner between 2000 and 2005 and had run the business relatively successfully during that time, bought the derelict building back with the support of an established group of like-minded investors. The facilities were in a terrible state, the pool and spa areas ceilings had collapsed, much of the building had been damaged by botched repairs, damp and vandalism.
Work swiftly began to restore Wickwoods. Against all odds and in the depth of the recession, Wickwoods began to give back to the local community and economy again. First to benefit were local builders and tradesman involved in the extensive, four -year initial refurbishment. This provided vital work at a time when there was very little. The business then re-opened in June 2010 with the help of some original staff, while other local people were hired as receptionists, chefs, restaurant staff and therapists. Today over 50 jobs have been created. Local suppliers were contracted to supply the business again and now over £1 million is spent annually with local firms who supply everything from wine and produce through to stationery and printing. Even the electricity is purchased through a local firm in Worthing.
Lee Goossens, the company’s Managing Director says: “Wickwoods had been at the heart of the local community for over 30 years and I always felt that, with the right level of investment, Wickwoods could be developed into a leading lifestyle venue. It is a special place and holds fond memories for a lot of local people. Many families have enjoyed the facilities over the years, and Wickwoods has hosted hundreds of weddings and other family celebrations. I must have been mad! It’s been really tough but I’m incredibly proud of what the team at and behind Wickwoods have achieved”.
Lee, with support from investors, undertook a major refurbishment and development programme. New, modern facilities were built to complement the refurbished facilities and with the help of a dedicated team, Wickwoods is now recognised as Sussex’s leading lifestyle venue.
The facilities are comprehensive and membership of the Club includes a gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hydrotherapy pool, exercise classes, both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, treatments at Your Spa, an exceptional restaurant The Glass House, as well as a function suite and hotel rooms.
In 2019, we all became very aware of Coronavirus as it turned into the Covid-19 pandemic. Wickwoods was greatly affected like many businesses when the hospitality sector shut-down. The reopening and closing of hospitality and changes to particular facilities reopening at different stages, was particularly challenging for a business like Wickwoods. Though, through restructuring the operation, introducing new internal layouts and Covid-secure measures, the team at Wickwoods have strived to maintain the safest facilities and services, providing social-distancing and confidence for our clients, members and team at the venue. During the time we provided produce to locals along with our own takeaway service. We also launched an online portal which has developed into Wickwoodswellbeing.co.uk, now providing live streamed exercise classes and recorded content for members to watch at home or away. The business is still recovering and we are ever grateful to our team who helped us through and our supportive members.
We continue to take pride in our comprehensive range of facilities being maintained to the highest standards. Club members enjoy use of all facilities, plus complimentary offers including free health checks, bespoke gym programmes, reviews / consultations, and a tennis induction. All exercise classes and tennis court use is complimentary, with access to group tennis sessions, socials and coaching (Some group tennis sessions are subject to fees). Club members also receive 10% off discounts on a range of services, including treatments, events and food in The Glass House Restaurant and Members’ Bar. Wickwoodswellbeing.co.uk provides live interactive exercise classes and exclusive content at home, available across all devices! The service is available for all to purchase though club members receive complimentary access.
Throughout the year, events are held in our suite. Enjoy themed nights, leading tribute acts, live bands, quizzes, Christmas events and more.
Aside from being an amazing entertainment venue and leading lifestyle club, Wickwoods Country Club & Spa deserves recognition for its ongoing contribution to and impact on the local community. Wickwoods remains a truly local, Downland village business in every sense, providing a service for it’s valued Members, employment and business opportunities for locals.
For more information about Wickwoods or Club Membership, ask at reception, call 01273 857567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information packs are available at reception or book a tour to learn more about the club, services and the comprehensive facilities.