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19 March 2020 10:35

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Sign up to FREE email alerts from CornwallLive - Daily Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have announced they are temporarily closing their two Manchester hotels and offering the rooms to the NHS for free. The former footballers' GG Hospitality group is shutting Hotel Football at Old Trafford and the recently-opened Stock Exchange Hotel in the city centre from Sunday, March 22, in response to the escalating coronavirus crisis. They have vowed not to make any staff redundant or put anyone on unpaid leave during the closure. They issued a statement, which said: "The company is working with its team to put a package in place for all staff members for the months ahead, following which the hope is that things would have returned to normal. "While health and safety remain the company's primarily concern the economic situation of each individual team member is also being given utmost priority." (Image: Getty Images) GG Hospitality has also been talking to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and will be accommodating its healthcare workers and medical professionals at the hotels, free of charge.

They say they want "to provide them with a comfortable place to stay in these challenging times". Gary Neville said: "We have taken this decision as we believe in being proactive and decisive. "We feel that we have a responsibility to protect our team members and as shareholders we have put together the resources to put us in the best position to do this. "Our company's success is all down to our team and we feel it is critical that we look after everyone in these challenging times. "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." He said the hotels would reopen once the situation is declared safe. Neville added: "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." GG Hospitality CEO Winston Zahra added: "We are living in unprecedented times and we have taken these decisions in the most responsible way possible and in a way that supports our team members while also extending further support to the wider community and ensuring our business is stronger when things get back to normal." Gill Heaton, group deputy chief executive at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), thanked the team for the 'incredible gesture'. "This will give a real boost to our hard-working NHS staff at MFT who are working round the clock to provide care for the communities we serve," she added.

Neville's two Manchester hotels - which he co-owns with fellow ex-professional football player Ryan Giggs - will be closed to the public, freeing 176 beds for NHS and other medical staff. The defender and former Manchester United captain also said that none of his staff at either the Stock Exchange Hotel and Hotel Football will be made redundant or asked to take unpaid leave. "It is at this moment in time that the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months. It will be free of charge and out staff will continue to operate the hotels as normal," Neville said in a video posted on Twitter that has been viewed in excess of 7m times. "It's obviously very difficult times and we hope we can go out of this stronger as a hotel business beyond what's happening." The two hotels will close to the public this Sunday (22 March).

Hotels are facing huge losses as the Coronavirus crises intensifies. Other hotels to offer up beds to health care professionals include Chelsea's Stamford Bridge hotel. Best Western Great Britain - the UK's largest independent hotel group - said it would consider turning some its hotels into makeshift hospitals. Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has made the two hotels he owns with ex-teammate Ryan Giggs available to National Health Service (NHS) staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic, while assuring hotel workers there will be no redundancies and all employees will remain on full pay. Through their GG Hospitality group, Neville and Giggs co-own Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange in Manchester. "The most important thing and our priority is the health of our staff and our guests," Neville said in a video posted to Twitter where he confirmed that the hotel would be closed to guests over the next two months. "The second most important thing is our staff and our team members and that they retain their income over the next few months. We will not be making anyone redundant or asking anybody to take unpaid leave. We are working on a package now to ensure they retain their income: they are the most important people and the lifeblood of our business. "Thirdly, over the past week we have been in consultation with the health services in the Greater Manchester area and our 176 beds will be occupied by NHS workers and medical professionals from Friday. "The whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times but obviously for the people who need accommodation most in the coming months. "Health workers will be able to stay there without any cost whatsoever in the next few months when they need isolation away from family members who may be affected by what's going on." Neville's announcement follows a similar gesture from Premier League club Chelsea, who on Wednesday stated that the Millennium Hotel at their Stamford Bridge stadium in London would be made available to NHS staff for the next two months and possibly longer. The club also said all costs would be covered by owner Roman Abramovich. The Premier League has been suspended until at least April 4 due to the virus, with global cases rising to 218,000 on Thursday and more than 8,800 dead. More than 84,000 people have recovered from the virus. Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville is to open his hotels free of charge to health workers to help with the coronavirus crisis. Neville's two Manchester hotels will be closed to the public, freeing 176 beds for NHS and other medical staff. The former United captain said none of his staff will be made redundant or asked to take unpaid leave. "It is something we are delighted to have been able to come to an agreement with," Neville said. "It is at this moment in time that the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months," Neville said. Neville co-owns two hotels with former team-mate Ryan Giggs, the Stock Exchange Hotel in the city centre and Hotel Football at Old Trafford. Both with be closed to the public on Sunday and available to health workers from Friday after consultation with the health service in Greater Manchester. "Our staff will operate the hotel as normal when health workers are allowed to stay there without any cost whatsoever when they need isolation away from family members who might be affected," explained Neville. Earlier on Monday, Chelsea announced a similar move to open the hotel owned by the club to NHS staff. Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu