Hotel group Best Western and the GG Hospitality group, owned by former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, have both made offers for their hotels to be used in the effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the closure of Hotel Football and the Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester from 22nd March, GG Hospitality said it would not be making anyone redundant or placing them on unpaid leave.
The company said it was prepared to allow its hotels to be used to accommodate healthcare workers and medical professionals free of charge in order to give them a comfortable place to stay while they work.
Neville, one of the company’s main shareholders, said: “We have been putting plans together for the past four weeks and have triggered various actions as things have developed. A key consideration in our plans was to try and support the wider community and more specifically our local NHS hospitals. By offering both our hotels without cost to the health service we hope that this gives some support to the healthcare professionals in a time when they need it.
“We will reopen once the situation is declared safe and, in the meantime, we will do our utmost to ensure our team members are looked after and where possible we will help the wider community. These are not easy times, but we are confident we will come out on the other end stronger as a company and as a community.”
Meanwhile, Best Western Great Britain’s chief executive Rob Paterson confirmed that the group was considering allowing its hotels to be used as hospitals if the NHS becomes overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.
Paterson said: “Best Western Great Britain’s chief executive Rob Paterson said: “We are in unprecedented territory so we would be willing to take unprecedented steps to support the national effort.
“If the NHS wants additional bed space, and we can partner with other companies to provide the right medical equipment and suppliers and we can do it safely, then we would be willing to start having those conversations immediately.”