Covid: Harrogate testing centre to be moved to new location 'within months'

Harrogate's coronavirus testing centre is to be moved to a new location "within the next few months," it has been announced.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:27 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:30 am
The Dragon Road Car Park testing site will have to be moved for the reopening of Harrogate Convention Centre.

The testing site at the Dragon Road Car Park opened in October last year and has operated as a mobile and walk-in facility with the capacity to carry out around 300 swabs a day.

But because the car park is used by Harrogate Convention Centre, which is planning to reopen in June, the testing site will have to be moved.

Councillor Michael Harrison, executive member for adult services and health integration at North Yorkshire County Council, told a meeting yesterday that this would be "in the next few months" and at a new location in the town to be announced at a later date.

He said: "Dragon Road Car Park is an integral part of the convention centre operation so we will be needing to relocate the testing centre somewhere else in the next few months.

"It has been a useful, central site up until now and the intention would be that Harrogate still needs a site for people to be able to go."

Harrogate Convention Centre has been used as NHS Nightingale hospital for almost a year and will close as the emergency unit next month without treating a single Covid-19 patient.

Paula Lorimer, the centre's director, said last week that the venue was planning for events to return from 21 June when all social distancing restrictions are due to end.

There are, however, questions over when the dismantling of the Nightingale will begin and how long it will take.

Ms Lorimer previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "Discussions with colleagues from the NHS about their plans for returning the Harrogate Convention Centre to us are ongoing.

"However, we are confident that the venue will reopen from 21 June in line with government restrictions ending."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter