Coronavirus: Gary Neville hands over Manchester hotel beds to NHS staff
- Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs own two Manchester hotels that NHS staff will occupy on a free-of-charge basis during the coronavirus crisis.
Manchester United great Gary Neville has announced the two hotels he owns in partnership with Ryan Giggs will accommodate NHS staff free of charge during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hotel Football and Stock Exchange hotels in Manchester will be closed to the public from this weekend, Neville said, but staff will be retained and will continue to be paid as they instead cater for the needs of doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
Neville said: "In the last week we've been in consultation with the health services in the Greater Manchester area, particularly the Manchester University National Health Service's Foundation Trust [MFT NHS], and our 176 beds will be occupied by NHS workers and medical professional from Friday onwards.
"It's at this moment in time the whole of our [hospitality] industry needs to show solidarity, not just with our staff in these uncertain times but for obviously the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months, and it's something that we're delighted to have been able to have come to agreement with.
"It'll be free of charge, our staff will operate the hotels as normal, and the health workers will be allowed to stay there without any cost whatsoever in these next few months when they need isolation away from family members who may be affected by what's going on."
In a video posted on Twitter, Neville said it was important the hotel staff continue to be paid and insisted there would be no redundancies or suggestions of unpaid leave, adding that he hoped the business could "grow out of this stronger".
Neville and Giggs were members of United's famed 'Class of 92', the generation that flourished under Alex Ferguson's guidance, winning multiple Premier League titles and landing a treble in 1999 that included a famous Champions League triumph.
Alongside his business interests, Giggs is now manager of the Wales national team.
Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, praised the commitment announced by Neville.
Burnham said it was "great leadership" and tweeted: "This is exactly the spirit that will get us through this."
The MFT NHS wrote: "HUGE THANKS to Gary Neville @GNev2 and the team @GG_Hospitality for this incredible gesture for our hardworking #NHSSTAFF who are working around the clock to provide care for our communities."Published 19 Mar 2020, 02:58 IST