Birmingham’s NEC, Manchester Central and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will all be made into emergency hospitals to cope with Covid-19.
The venues are following the example of ExCeL London, which is currently being converted into a temporary hospital facility set to complete sometime this week.
The NEC and Manchester Central will be converted “next month”, according to the head of NHS England Sir Simon Stevens. Stevens also said that “further such hospitals” would follow.
ExCeL London’s facility will have a capacity of between 4,000 and 5,000 beds, while NEC will have a capacity for 5,000 beds and Manchester Central 1,000.
Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed he had approved £8m of funding for the conversion of the Principality Stadium on Friday.
CEO of the NEC Group, Paul Thandi, said: “We have been working with our brilliant NHS and the MOD to plan, build and open a field hospital as quickly as possible, to help combat the life-threatening situation our country faces in dealing with COVID-19. We will now offer the necessary resources and assistance in adapting the NEC appropriately, ready for imminent use.
“With the full and ongoing support of Blackstone, our majority shareholder, we are confident we can play our part to assist our NHS and MOD in our country’s efforts to combat the threat to life COVID-19 represents.”
If anyone doubts how serious #COVID2019 is, today I approved £8m to create a 2000 bed field hospital in @principalitysta thank you to @CV_UHB @cardiffcouncil @WelshRugbyUnion @huwthomas_Wales for fantastic partnership working #StayAtHomeSavesLives https://t.co/y4UHqZ6YwO
— Vaughan Gething AM (@vaughangething) March 27, 2020