STAFF have been told they are at risk of redundancy as the Barrington Centre in Ferndown is set to undergo a major refurbishment.

There will be structural building works to the café, bar, toilets and box office. The front facing part of the building will be extended out and a ramp will be built to enable access to the café.

Dorset Council have funded the works, however it means that over 20 people are at risk of redundancy.

A member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous said: “My work colleagues and I are deeply upset about how we have been treated.

“We will be jobless on March 31. None of our jobs are being held open for us.

“We have been told that we would need to reapply for any jobs when they came available after the refurbishment. No priority would be made for us.

“A lot of staff have worked here for many years and as I said we are all devastated. Most of our customers have become friends to us which makes it even harder.”

The member of staff said people working across the centre are affected by the redundancies, some of which had been working there for more than 15 years.

Tina Dudley, acting town clerk for Ferndown Town Council confirmed that the staff had been made aware that they are at risk of redundancy but have not been made redundant.

She said that 23 people are at risk, and the redundancy process will conclude on March 31. The staff work across the centre in the theatre, the bar, café, box office and supporting roles such as duty managers.

The Barrington Centre had also sold tickets for shows due to be on during the closure period. Tina said all ticket sales would be refunded. She confirmed that all shows from April 1 to October 1 will be cancelled.

A statement released by mayor of Ferndown, Cllr Julie Robinson said the works will provide the residents of Ferndown with a modern and environmentally friendly centre.

At the time of going to press, the Daily Echo had approached Cllr Robinson for a comment.