Covid testing Leeds: Lateral flow testing centre to open at The Old Fire Station in Gipton

A new lateral flow coronavirus testing centre funded by the central government is set to open at The Old Fire Station in Gipton.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 8:35 pm
Kate Hainsworth, CEO at Leeds Community Foundation outside The Old Fire Station in Gipton

The centre will open next month and will be based within meeting room spaces normally hired out to the community and other organisations.

Operated by Leeds City Council, it will provide tests on a daily basis to invited professional groups.

The Old Fire Station is a vital resource for a huge range of people and small organisations in its usual operation as a café and nursery and is funded by Leeds Community Foundation through money donated by the Heselden family’s ‘Jimbo’s Fund’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The testing centre is just one of many support initiatives the community hub has provided since the start of the pandemic, having previously provided food parcels, activity packs and hot meals to local people.

Kate Hainsworth, CEO of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “There is no denying that times have been really tough and Leeds, like every other city, has had to grapple with the impact of the Covid-19.

“As soon as our café, nursery and room hire temporarily closed down, our team worked closely and collaboratively with the six charities and third sector organisations, for the whom The Old Fire Station is home, to deliver a huge range of new activities and initiatives, quickly and effectively adapting to become a response leader in East Leeds.

“Not to be thwarted by the threats of the pandemic, attention turned immediately towards how, through partnership and lateral thinking, the spaces could be repurposed to support the crisis response.

"Working with Leeds County Council, Leeds Community Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund and in partnership with local organisations we have been instrumental in providing urgent resources to local people to address food poverty, health inequality, isolation and exclusion.

“It’s testament to the nature of our model and our amazing team and occupiers, that we have not just survived, but continued to meet the changing needs of our local community.

"We are very excited about our privileged position in east Leeds, and our ongoing role in making Leeds a city of opportunity for all.”

Further applications are now underway for funding to support long term initiatives which will help to build skills and resilience in the east Leeds community.

The Old Fire Station is based at Gipton Approach, Leeds LS9 6NL.