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Chantry Centre site gears up as curtain comes down on theatre vaccination venue

A vacant shop in the Chantry Centre will be opening its doors as a vaccination site next week.

The unit, located near the garden area, will host an army of doctors, nurses and volunteers as they continue their fight against Covid-19.

The first full appointment-only sessions begin on 3 September.

The move comes as The Lights, which has seen tens of thousands of people receive their jabs at the venue since December last year, prepares to reopen to audiences at the end of September.

Test Valley Borough Council, which runs the theatre, has been working with NHS colleagues over the past few weeks to ready the new vaccination site at the Chantry Centre and ensure the move goes smoothly.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, councillor Phil North, said: “The Lights has done an absolutely fantastic job of hosting our incredible NHS colleagues and volunteers since December last year. This has been, without doubt, its most important role to date and everyone involved in the organising and running of the clinics at the theatre should be incredibly proud of what has been achieved and the lives they have helped to save.

“I am pleased that we have been able to offer another great, central location in the form of the Chantry Centre to enable that work to continue, while allowing The Lights to begin welcoming back audiences.”

Dr Ben Sharpe, clinical lead for the Andover vaccination site, said: “Everyone at The Lights has been fantastic over the past few months and we are incredibly grateful to all of the staff, volunteers and partner organisations who have made it such a success.

As our work continues to protect as many people as possible from the threat of Covid-19, we are very much looking forward to welcoming residents to our new location at the Chantry Centre from next week.”