A hotel for young people with autism and learning difficulties has been given the green light by Gateshead Council.
The St Camillus Care Group has been granted planning permission for a £2m scheme to transform the former Rivers Edge hotel at Gateshead, Tyne & Wear. Due to open in October, the 28-bedroom Vault hotel will provide respite care for young people with learning difficulties, as well as train them to work within the hospitality industry.
The ground floor of the hotel is already operating as an American-style diner, called Davey Duke's, which caters for and is run by people with autism or learning disabilities. Supported by trained staff, the outlet is expected to eventually open to the public. The hotel also has a function room, which will be available in the long term for business meetings and celebrations.
John Heron, managing director of St Camillus Care Group, said the Vault was giving young people an unprecedented opportunity for a career in hospitality and a chance to learn alongside professionals in the hospitality industry in a real setting.
"At the same time it's also a place for people with autism and learning difficulties to come to and enjoy the facilities," he explained. "In particular the diner is a great place for families who may have young people with these challenges, knowing that they can come to a restaurant where people understand them and make no judgements. We are very excited about the opportunity to progress what is going to be an exciting opportunity."
John Heron and team
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