The three chairs of the Manchester Hoteliers Association, Liverpool Hospitality Association and
Chester Hospitality Association are calling for a joint delegation of Northern politicians and
Hospitality Business leaders to hold an urgent meeting with Central Government to agree a formal
economic rescue plan to avoid catastrophe and potential failure of the Northern Powerhouse.
The three Associations represent over 250 plus hospitality businesses, mainly hotels, but with an
increasing number of bar and restaurant businesses.
Steven Hesketh, CEO of Savvy Hotels and chair of Chester Hospitality Association, has independent
hotels in both Chester and Liverpool confirms;
“There are a tsunami of job losses already and whilst
the tiered situation may have differences, Chester being sandwiched between Merseyside and North
Wales, means our customer base is already cut off with these areas unable to travel. The result of
this is that bookings have all but dried up.”
Marcus Magee, General Manager at Hilton Liverpool and chair of Liverpool Hospitality Association
“The immediate introduction of tier three to Liverpool City region meant an immediate
recommendation on not travelling to a tier 3 area, instantly paralysing the need for hotels, many
overnight stays released overnight, putting all hospitality businesses large and small in a precarious
position to remain trading.”
Finally, Adrian Ellis, General Manager of the Lowry Manchester and chair of Manchester Hoteliers
“Manchester has been under stricter restrictions than the rest of the country for
months now, the cities’ hotel occupancies have been on their knees for some time and the furlough
scheme must be re-reviewed at an instant to avoid further damage.”
In all three cities, the hospitality sector underpins much of the economic activity across the region.
Not only are the venues themselves impacted, but the entire business ecosystem will be hit hard.
Hospitality venues hire accountants, HR consultants, marketing agencies and digital companies and
they have a huge supply chain to deliver F&B. In addition, hospitality already has many companies, in
the events, cultural and sporting sectors, hanging on by a thread. The devastation this is causing to
Northern England is putting in concrete the North South divide.
As Christmas nears and tier politics continue, anger and frustration from business is exacerbated by
the fact that there is no evidence that local lockdowns are working – and seemingly there is no
strategy beyond lockdown. So, what happens if the ‘R’ rate goes down in October. Do we have
another grand re-opening of the hospitality venues in November, only to see infection rates creep
up again, leading to a Christmas shutdown?
The government are treating businesses with contempt. There has been no consultation, no forward
planning and no consideration of the wider implications to the economy or indeed other health
matters. We demand the government listen to the collective voices of political and business leaders
from across the north.
We are all concerned about infection rates, but we must address the wider implications of placing
businesses and cities in paralysis, with very little direct business support.