Harrogate Convention Centre in Yorkshire, England, is the latest major UK convention centre to be transformed into a National Health Service hospital for treating Covid-19 patients. The HCC has been transformed into the NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber.
Paula Lorimer, Director of Harrogate Convention Centre, said: “As Covid-19 has spread around the world, the impact has been devastating and our hearts go out to those who have been and continue to be personally affected.”
Lorimer added: “My team have very much been hidden heroes working diligently behind the scenes. They willingly came into work at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock. Our contract catering team came back initially just as volunteers to feed the NHS teams and contractors, as they had be sent home as many other contractors on no pay – we cannot thank them enough.”
“Our priorities are clear – to assist the national efforts in supporting the NHS and frontline staff, to continue to protect the health and well-being of our employees, and to also support the needs of our customers, partners and suppliers as much as possible. We want to ensure the live events sector can weather this crisis, and come out of this period of uncertainty in as strong a position possible, and have re-scheduled events this summer for later in the calendar. All of our clients have been 100% understanding,” Lorimer continued.
The Harrogate decision follows plans already announced for halls at ExCeL London, Manchester Central and Birmingham NEC to become Nightingale hospitals. The ExCeL London Nightingale hospital is set to open to its first patients, 3 April, after a double-quick refit.
NHS Chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced that the proposal for Harrogate was for a 500-bed facility. He also reported that the University of the West of England in Bristol would be converted into a Covid-19 ‘Nightingale’ hospital and cater for up to 1,000 patients.