Long-term Covid test centre to leave Kettering car park

The contract ends in a matter of months

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 7:00 am
The conference centre testing unit.

A long-term regional Covid test centre which occupies a Kettering car park will be no more in a matter of months.

A PCR testing unit has occupied the car park at the front of Kettering Conference Centre in Thurston Drive since September 2020, completing thousands upon thousands of tests.

But a UK Health Security Agency spokesman has confirmed to the Northants Telegraph that there will not be a test centre there by the end of March 2022.

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Their contract for the site ends on March 31. The spokesman said testing post-March 2022 is yet to be confirmed and that there may be a site elsewhere.

The Covid test site closure will come as Kettering Conference Centre, which is managed by The Venues Collection, re-opens next March.

Since the start of the pandemic last year it has hosted very few events, although it did host the North Northamptonshire Council elections in May this year.

Joanne Barratt, managing director at The Venues Collection, said: “We are really looking forward to re-opening and welcoming events and visitors back to the centre.

"We are already working with a number of local and national companies who are interested in our wide range of facilities and our central, easily accessible location.

"We will be opening in March 2022 but we are holding show rounds before this date for interested event organisers.

“We decided to wait until the conference and event market was fully back again before we reopened.

"Since lockdown, we have been supporting the NHS and our local community by housing an NHS Covid testing facility."

The Lighthouse Theatre, which operates inside the conference centre, has also announced it will be opening from January.