The Bold Hotel on Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

One of the major hotels in Southport is preparing to help local people who are struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

Andrew Mikhail, owner of Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group, has decided to play his part in the struggle by converting The Bold Hotel on Lord Street into a temporary shopping store.

The venture would then only be available to be used by emergency services workers in the NHS, pensioners and vulnerable people only.

It follows days of panic buying at supermarkets across the UK.

Mass buying has seen shelves everywhere stripped of essential household items including toilet rolls, pasta, rice, tinned food, paracetamol, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

‘If selfish panic buyers think this is acceptable then shame on you’

It has left many older and vulnerable people in our town, and those working on the front line against coronavirus and COVID-19, struggling to access essential items.

Andrew Mikhail is also converting his company’s sister hotel, the Eccleston Arms in St Helens near Whiston Hospital, along similar lines.

Both hotels should be stocked and ready to go this Saturday.

Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group director Rob Ashcroft said the firm had acted quickly to help at a time when “everyone is struggling”.

He said: “Rather than completely shut up shop, we decided we would be able to help others instead.”

The initiative will help NHS workers, key workers, care home workers, elderly people, and vulnerable people to get valuable household supplies.

The firm is currently drawing up criteria for who would apply, and more information will be released via The Bold Hotel website and social media channels.

Strict physical distancing rules will be observed, and other precautions made to keep everything hygienic and everyone safe.

The scheme will also help the firm’s suppliers, some of who had prepared stock such as toilet rolls, milk, pasta, rice and eggs in preparation for a busy Mother’s Day period, leading up to Easter, only to be hit with mass cancellations and closures in the catering industry.

Rob said there has been a huge response to the idea.

He said: “We want to target those who are vulnerable.

“We have had a lot of feedback already which tells us that there is a lot of need in the town.

“We wanted to put it out there that there is someone here who is going to help them.”

Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group is the leading driver in the regeneration of The Northern Quarter on Lord Street. As well as The Bold Hotel, they have recently opened The Lord Street Hotel and Punch Tarmey’s Irish themed bar.

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