THE OWNER of a wedding and events venue in Chepstow has offered one of her barns free of charge to couples whose big day has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Charlotte Hayes, who has spent 18 months transforming Mounton Brook Lodge after she bought it in 2018, says she wanted to give something back to the community after receiving so much support to get her business up and running.

In a post on Mounton Brook’s Facebook page on Thursday, Mrs Hayes wrote: “We are sorry to hear that so many flights have been cancelled to Italy and other affected countries related to the coronavirus.

“We are particularly saddened for all those wedding couples that have booked and had their wedding dreams shattered.

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"If you are one of these couples, please get in touch with us and we will offer our beautiful Old Forge Ceremony barn for you to take your special vows and marry in for free.

“Terms and conditions and certain restrictions apply but please do get in touch and we will do our upmost to help you.”

Since posting the message, Mrs Hayes says she has been inundated with messages of support, as well as some messages from engaged couples whose weddings abroad have been cancelled.

“When you work at a place like this, I think you realise even more what a special time and event it can be,” said Mrs Hayes. “To have planned a wedding abroad and built up to that moment, and then have that taken away, is just heart-breaking.

“I can’t tell you how much help and support I’ve received from the community in getting the venue up and running, so I really wanted to do something to continue to spread that kindness.

“I have the ability and space to make a difference to people’s lives, so why wouldn’t I?”

She also praised the town, and said since she put the post up, others have come forward to offer help.

“Chepstow is unique. Since I put the post up I’ve had florists, cake makers and others saying I’d be welcome to use their services for free too if couples are in need.”

The impressive venue in Pwllmeyric was a pub before spending 18 months as a derelict site.

After acquiring the building 18 months ago, Mrs Hayes set about creating the luxury lodge with the help of seven staff.

“We’re not a big corporate venue, we like it to be a personal and family run entity, and we’ve managed to hit the ground running with the help of so many,” she added.

“The lovely vibe we’ve received from the community has been overwhelming, and we’re delighted to have the chance to give something back.”