Harrogate's NHS Nightingale Hospital to stay open until at least end of July
Harrogate's NHS Nightingale Hospital will stay open until at least the end of July, it has been announced.
The temporary hospital, which was built within weeks at Harrogate Convention Centre and has a 500-bed capacity, has not treated a single coronavirus patient since opening at the peak of the virus outbreak in April.
A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council, which owns the venue, said it has now extended a contract with NHS England for its use until July 31.
It comes as the council is facing a £15million deficit as a result of the pandemic, most of which is lost income from the convention centre.
Since construction began in late March, and until the end of July, the NHS is not paying any rent to the convention centre or the council.
Council leader Richard Cooper previously said he hoped the venue will be turned back over to business "as soon as possible".
The hospital - officially titled NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber - is one of seven in the UK that either remain on standby or are being stood down.
Construction of the Harrogate site took just 18 days and involved six hundred staff, including members of the Armed Forces.
It was last week used for the first time when it opened outpatient radiology appointments for non-coronavirus patients.
The Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were the first to use the facility and will continue to provide appointments seven days a week.
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter