The Black Country Living Museum, made famous as a set for hit TV drama Peaky Blinders, is to open as a vaccination centre on Monday.
The Victorian-era heritage site, which has previously been used as a backdrop for the BBC show, will open its doors next week as one of the latest locations to help deliver the Government’s national Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
The opening, announced on Friday by NHS Black Country and West Birmingham clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), has been described as a “game-changer” for Dudley and the surrounding area.
Latest figures from NHS England showed 97,310 jabs had been administered in the area by Thursday, since the national rollout began.
That places it second out of all Midlands areas in administering jabs, behind Birmingham and Solihull, where 98,536 total doses had been given.
The well-known landmark will be offering invite-only vaccines, with patients receiving letters to attend appointments, prioritising jabs for people most at risk of complications from Covid-19.
People are being urged not to call or contact the museum directly, but wait to be written to by the NHS.
The museum centre will complement existing GP-led vaccination services which are already up and running locally.
Sally Roberts, Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs chief nurse, said: “Across the Black Country and West Birmingham, a great many people are working hard to roll out vaccinations, starting with those most at risk.
“Our progress to date has been incredible and I am delighted that our first vaccination centre, which will be capable of delivering thousands more vaccines each week, is going live.”
She urged people in receipt of a time slot to arrive promptly, while adding “there is no need to arrive for your vaccine earlier than your appointment time as this may result in you and others waiting longer than necessary”.
Andrew Lovett, museum chief executive, said the people who get the jab were helping the NHS “in the most important public health initiative it has ever undertaken”.
He added: “By hosting the vaccine centre at the museum, we’re able to support the NHS in providing immunisation for the local community.”
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Dudley Council’s elected health chief, said: “This is fantastic news – a real game-changer in our fight across the borough against the coronavirus.
“Having the Black Country Living Museum on board as a vaccination centre will greatly increase the amount of jabs we can deliver, and the speed at which we can administer them.
“It will make people safer from this deadly virus more quickly.”
He urged people to have the vaccine if offered, and called on everyone to continue to follow public health and social distancing rules.
“We have always said we will beat this, and we are getting closer to that day,” he said.
“But we still need to remain vigilant.”