Orient One
Orient One in Rossendale is one of the buildings being made available to the NHS

Hurstwood offers vacant buildings to NHS

Dan Whelan

As the NHS leads the fight against coronavirus, the North West property community is attempting to lend a helping hand with one Manchester-based firm offering 35,000 sq ft across three vacant buildings for the health service to occupy.

Hurstwood Holdings, run by RICS North chairman Stephen Ashworth and based in Manchester, has made buildings in Rossendale, Preston and St Helens available to the NHS as the number of cases of Covid-19 continues to rise. 

Some 20,400 sq ft of retail space and over 100 car parking spaces are available at Orient One in Rossendale while a further 7,000 sq ft is being offered at Marshall House in Preston alongside 7,300 sq ft at Century House in St Helens. 

All three buildings are currently vacant and Hurstwood is liaising with CBRE to facilitate the deal.  

Stephen Ashworth, chairman and chief executive of Hurstwood Holdings, said: “This is a very sad and difficult time for everyone and we are keen as a business and individuals to do what we can can to help the NHS and it’s wonderful staff.

“We hope that these buildings can be of use and are constantly looking at other ways in which we can show our support.”

Meanwhile Bolton-based boxer Amir Khan took to Twitter this week and offered to hand over his 60,000 sq ft wedding venue and retail outlet to the NHS after Gary Neville announced last week he would give the NHS the keys to Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange. 

Following this, Sacha Lord, the night time advisor to Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, announced land at Mayfield was being made available as free parking for NHS staff.

These gestures come as part of the wave of good feeling towards the NHS which saw people all over the country take to their doorsteps and balconies at 8pm yesterday to applaud frontline workers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

In London, the ExCel Centre events facility is being used as an auxiliary hospital which will provide 500 beds and will begin treating patients next week, while rumours are circulating that a similar facility may be set up at Manchester Central Convention Complex.

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