Decision details

Use of Gardner Hall residential accommodation at Venns Road for key workers on short term basis from April 2020, for three months

Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The decision was taken to make available overnight accommodation in Hereford city for key workers during Covid-19 response phase (April to July 2020).

In March 2020 during the early stages of the Covid 19 emergency response an urgent need was identified to establish temporary accommodation for key workers in Hereford. Key workers defined as NHS, social care, social workers, police/ emergency services employees.

The rationale for this was;
• A member of a key workers household may display Covid 19 symptoms which would lead to a requirement for a 14 day quarantine period. This could significantly reduce available key worker capacity at a time of emergency.

• A key worker may live with a person who was being ‘shielded’, asked by government to isolate for 3 months. This may mean a key worker in the same household would be unable to work for this period without alternative accommodation. This again would reduce available capacity during emergency.

• Additional key worker capacity may be required in Herefordshire, recruiting people from other areas of the UK who would need somewhere to live.

• Due to the lockdown accommodation such as hotels, bed and breakfasts were ordered to close, and private rental opportunities severely limited.

As such a decision was taken to make the council owned student accommodation in Gardner Hall available free of charge to key workers who needed temporary accommodation.

As lockdown measures are currently being lifted with alternative accommodation to be available again from July a subsequent decision has been taken to close Gardner Hall for key workers from the end of July 2020 and not extend this provision.
It is anticipated that between September and December 2020 Gardner Hall will be required as temporary accommodation for Hereford College of Arts students not able to be accommodated in the Station Approach development which has been delayed due to Covid 19. As such, previous negotiations with NMITE to lease the Gardner Hall accommodation have been suspended until January 2021. NMITE will continue to utilise the Gardner Hall office space on the ground floor in the interim.

Contact: Roger Allonby, Head of Economic Development, Economy and Place Email: Tel: 01432 260330.

Publication date: 26/06/2020

Date of decision: 26/06/2020

Accompanying Documents: