Iconic Cheddar Gorge caves shut their doors ‘for the forseeable future’

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Around 40 people have lost their jobs after the Cheddar Gorge caves in Sommerset shut their doors ‘for the foreseeable future’.

Longleat Enterprises said there was ‘great uncertainty’ over the future of Cheddar Gorge and Caves and suggested it is unlikely to reopen in 2021.

It said 40 members of staff will now be entering into a formal redundancy consultation process.

Cox's Cave is pictured above in Cheddar Gorge. Around 40 people have lost their jobs after the caves shut their doors 'for the foreseeable future'

Cox’s Cave is pictured above in Cheddar Gorge. Around 40 people have lost their jobs after the caves shut their doors ‘for the foreseeable future’

In a statement, it said: ‘Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheddar Caves and its attractions will be closed for the foreseeable future.

‘The effect of the pandemic on our operations has been profound.

‘Sadly, we do not envisage the attraction being viable for the remainder of 2020 and there is great uncertainty as to the trajectory of the virus in 2021 and the associated guidance and rules.

‘With great regret amid the ongoing uncertainty and long timescales involved we have to consider making redundancies, which will affect the vast majority of our staff working at Cheddar.’

At almost 400 feet deep and three miles long, the gorge is England’s largest and is generally open to the public.

Some attractions within the reserve, including cave tours and rock climbing, have been closed as a response to Covid-19.

It is the latest major attraction to suffer job losses as a result of declining business during the pandemic. 

At almost 400 feet deep and three miles long, the gorge is England's largest and is generally open to the public

At almost 400 feet deep and three miles long, the gorge is England’s largest and is generally open to the public

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