Coronavirus

Oakman CEO to return £250k grant if venues used for vaccinations

The Oakman Inns is the latest pub group to offer its facilities to speed up distribution of the vaccination

The chief executive of pub and restaurant group, Oakman Inns, Dermot King, is offering to forego the chancellor’s latest lockdown grant of up to £250,000 if he allows National Health Trusts to use Oakman Inns’ venues as vaccination centres. 

King who was appointed CEO of the company last August said that the route to any “normality is through mass vaccination and for that the NHS needs to be able to work at scale.”

Oakman Inns has 28 properties across the Home Counties and the Midlands, which King believes are safe due to their “large refrigeration areas” that could help with storage of the vaccination. 

King said:  “Our pubs have large indoor spaces and in some cases large car parks and accommodation, which could accommodate large numbers of people around the clock. Clearly, the money offered by the chancellor yesterday would help us in the short-term, but realistically the only way all of us can get back to normal is to get the country vaccinated.

“We would rather let the government keep their hand-out to invest it in using hospitality venues as vaccination centres for the greater good of all. The hospitality sector has the venues, it has the infrastructure, the venues are sitting empty, and our offer even includes a contribution towards the cost of the scheme.”

The Oakman Inns is the latest pub group to offer its facilities to speed up distribution of the vaccination. Earlier this week Brewdog and Loungers also suggested that the NHS use their closed venues to help with the roll out. 

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