BOSSES of the Lulworth Estate said they hope they will not have to make any further redundancies as 24 workers left their jobs - but insisted they could 'never say never' during the current coronavirus pandemic.

The estate has reported income losses of 90 per cent during the pandemic, and said the future remained 'unpredictable'.

Lulworth used the Government's furlough scheme to keep staff on the books until the end of September. But the scheme changed in October meaning employers had to contribute 20 per cent of wages, forcing the estate to make redundancies.

James Weld, owner of the Lulworth Estate, said: "We took everyone through to the end of September to give them a chance to find alternative work.

"The additional cost of keeping them on through October was too much. We did make contributions to the furlough scheme in September because we wanted to give them as much time as possible to find new jobs but we have had to stop now.

"All of the staff that were made redundant understood why we were having to do it but it is always very difficult for everyone involved to have to go through the redundancy process."

Mr Weld is hopeful the estate will not be forced to make any additional redundancies but fears the future is unpredictable.

He said: "I hope we will not have to make anymore redundancies. You can never say never but we have tried to make sure we look at the business early enough and completely enough to only have to make job losses once.

"In this climate it is going to be very difficult for people to find work and, at the end of October, I expect we are going to see many more redundancies than we have thus far.

"I hope that by making a decision early we have given our staff the best possible chance to find other jobs."

One member of staff, who wishes to remain anonymous, has found another job.

"They said: "I am really lucky that I have got a new job. Hearing I had got it ended a pretty scary time. It has taken a huge amount of pressure off."