North east hotel rooms and food for foodbanks to be made available to alleviate coronavirus pressure on NHS

The High Street Group is currently in talks with the government to make its hospitality venues across the North East available as temporary hospitals and emergency facilities, should the need arise.

The Newcastle-based company which operates 5 hotels and 15 food, beverage and leisure facilities, is preparing to offer free bed spaces for emergency use in the event that COVID-19 cases escalate beyond NHS capacity.

Commenting during an interview on the North East of England Business Network on LinkedIn, Gary Forrest, chairman of The High Street Group, said: “In the current circumstances the occupancy of our hotels has already seen a sharp decline. In coming weeks, as regulations tighten and travel is further restricted, we anticipate closure.

“It seems logical, in the event that hospitals and health centres are overrun, that our facilities could be used for the common good and benefit of those seriously affected by the virus.

Gary Forrest, chairman of The High Street Group

“We have already contacted the government to offer the use of our hotels and we look forward, along with the rest of the North East business community, to doing our bit to protect the vulnerable and safeguard the future security and development of the region’s economic prosperity.”

The company has also committed that, in the event of forced closure, all its remaining food stock from its restaurants and bars will be made available to support communities.