Arora Hotels: one for the 'City of Shame'?

* Arora Management Services Ltd plans to turn its four-star Mercure
Gatwick hotel into an immigration detention centre.

* Campaigners vow to target Arora and Mercure until the plans are dropped.

Arora Management Services Ltd has applied to Crawley Borough Council for planning permission to turn its four-star Mercure Gatwick Hotel into an immigration detention centre. If the planning permission is granted, the hotel will be converted into a secure prison and the 245 bedrooms into single and family cells.

Established in 1999, Arora International Hotels is one of the UK's fastest growing privately owned hotel companies, with six luxury hotels in and around Heathrow and Gatwick airports and one in Manchester city centre.

Like other private companies that run privatised detention centres across the country, Arora is trying to sell its plan by arguing that locating detention centres at airports would make deportations easier and less costly for the government.

Anti-detention campaigners have already held two protests at Mercure Hotels in London, demanding that Mercure/Arora drops its plans to turn one of its hotels into an immigration prison. Hotel staff and guests of the Arora branch in Manchester were leafleted by members from Manchester No Borders. London No Borders are calling for a demonstration outside Crawly Town Hall on 7 December, when the Council will discuss the planning application.

The Manchester Arora Hotel is on Princess Street, around the corner from Manchester Art Gallery.

Posted byManchester No Borders at 5:42 AM