Staff at Manchester venue Escape To Freight Island (cap. 3,000) have been assured they will keep their jobs under the new management of bar and events company Peppermint Events, after initially being told they must re-apply.

Freight Island, owned by Meat Raffle, informed staff last week that their contracts would be terminated. They were asked to re-apply for their existing role or apply for a new post.

A spokesperson for Freight Island has since told Access that staff would be automatically retain their jobs under the new management, and no interviews would be required. They added that Peppermint will call all staff to apologise for the confusion.

Peppermint Events will take over the provision of bar services at the Manchester Piccadilly venue as of 20 March, which includes the delivery of all staffing through its connected workforce team, Constellation.

The statement said, “We are looking forward to working with all the staff and we wanted to reassure our staff we would love for them to continue working in the venue (just as they have done previously). We are looking forward to the new chapter of Freight Island with our team.”

According to Manchester Evening News, 150 members of staff were informed about the change of management, with several already having left the business and one role being made redundant.

Unite Hospitality, the union for hospitality workers, said, “Having spoken directly to Freight Island directors, we have been assured that all workers are to be TUPE’d over to the new employer.”

The partnership will see Peppermint managing all of Freight Island’s eight bars. The announcement comes a few weeks ahead of the unveiling of Freight Island 2.3.

Freight Island director Dan Morris and Peppermint co-founder Alex Brooke said in a statement, “The joining of forces between Peppermint Bars and Freight Island, is an extremely powerful partnership and puts us in a great position to maximise the potential of our Manchester site and move forward with our expansion plans.”

Brooke said, “Partnering with a site that has re-invented the way the world sees hospitality, is a really exciting move for Peppermint. We are committed to the customer journey, leading with cutting edge technology, in turn creating some amazing opportunities within the city of Manchester.”

Having opened its doors in 2020 during the pandemic, Freight Island, located in Depot Mayfield, has attracted more than 12,000 visitors per week and turned over more than £20m in revenue.