The first 10,000 of 30,000 protective face masks from China for NHS hospitals in Manchester and Yorkshire have arrived.
And the balance of 20,000 masks, to stem the spread of coronavirus, will be arriving over the next two weeks.
The delivery has been arranged and funded by the McCabe family’s Scarborough Group International and GMI Construction Group, both of which have close links to Yorkshire and Manchester.
This first batch of KN95-certified masks is being distributed to Salford Royal Hospital, Bury Hospital and Salford City Council in the Manchester area, and to Sheffield Teaching and Sheffield Children’s Hospitals, Rotherham Hospital, York Teaching Hospital, Scarborough Hospital, Malton Hospital and Leeds Teaching Hospital in Yorkshire.
The masks have been sourced through Scarborough’s Hong Kong division and made possible by the McCabe family’s longstanding business relationships in China and the Far East.
Scarborough is a well-known property group operating in the North of England with major projects under way in Manchester and Yorkshire.
Its developments include new homes at Middlewood Locks, Milliners Wharf and the Hat Box in Manchester, while in Yorkshire they have both commercial and residential schemes under way at Thorpe Park, Leeds, and further south at Sheffield Digital Campus and the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
GMI was formed in 1986 and has grown to become a well-established, successful building and construction services company with a track record for delivering award-winning projects for an international portfolio of developers, public sector clients and blue-chip companies.
The business is privately-owned, with director owners taking a hands-on role within the company.
Current turnover stands at approximately £120m per annum, which is predominantly made up of more than 80% of workload being negotiated directly or for repeat clients.
GMI has a successful and long-standing relationship with the Scarborough Group and they are currently working together on Thorpe Park, Leeds, Sheffield Digital Campus and the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
Kevin McCabe, chairman of Scarborough and former chairman of Sheffield United FC, said: “This is an unprecedented time for us all and it is incumbent on those who have the supply chain know-how to support where we can.
“I believe in looking after our own, so Yorkshire and Manchester are close to my heart – they are where we, as a family and company, live, work and enjoy life, so that’s where we’re going to try and help.
“Fortunately, thanks to the massive efforts of our colleagues in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, they have quickly sourced the masks and arranged the logistics to get them to the UK where the first batch has successfully arrived.
“Both GMI and ourselves thank the NHS wholeheartedly for the tremendous efforts they’re applying to conquer the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope our protective face masks will be of great support for the front liners working in the Manchester and Yorkshire hospitals.”
Marc Banks, divisional managing director of GMI, added: “We are delighted to partner with our valued client Scarborough Group International on this fantastic initiative.
“We are in very challenging times and the NHS are doing a fantastic job, I’m proud we have managed to source this PPE to be able to show our support.”