Gary Neville hands over hotels to NHS workers amid widespread closures

GG Hospitality, the company owned in part by former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, will close Stock Exchange and Hotel Football due to coronavirus and allow NHS workers who need to isolate away from families to use the buildings for free accommodation during the pandemic.

In a video message broadcast on Twitter, Neville said: “Over the last week we have been in communication with the health services in the Greater Manchester area and our 176 beds will be occupied by NHS workers and medical professionals from Friday onwards.”

The generous move by Neville comes as bars, restaurants and attractions closed their doors across the region. National Museums Liverpool closed all seven of its museums and galleries in line with Government recommendations.

A statement said: “The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our top priority and, while we understand many of you will be disappointed by the closures, we do not wish to put people at unnecessary risk.”

Many others have followed suit with Hatch, Bruntwood’s food, drink and retail venue on Oxford Road also announcing it would be closing its doors as of Wednesday evening.

Food halls The Picturedrome in Macclesfield and Mackie Mayor in Manchester’s Northern Quarter are also closing their doors but another of Nick Johnson’s ventures, Altrincham Market, will remain open.

Altrincham Market
Altrincham Market will remain open for the time being

A post on Altrincham Market’s Instagram account criticised the Government for not taking a stronger stance over closures of bars and restaurants which it said placed the hospitality industry “between a rock and a hard place” in terms of claiming on insurance policies.

On Monday Place North West reported that a number of firms had temporarily closed their offices as a result of the outbreak and yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all schools would close next week in an attempt to apply further downward pressure on the upward curve of spread.

Manchester Arena, which announced plans for a major overhaul earlier this month, remains open for the time being but a number of acts which were due to perform in the coming weeks and months have postponed tours. A statement on the arena’s website said: “We note the recent advice from the UK Government in relation to non-essential social contact and are currently liaising with promoters and event organisers.

“We are keeping up to date with the latest information and advice from the government and have a dedicated team ready to implement any recommended actions.”

Meanwhile, in Rochdale, the council has put a stop to the Dippy On Tour exhibit which has attracted 110,000 visitors so far.

A statement said that the council would review the possibility of reopening the exhibition in the coming months.

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