Former IBM factory site offered to NHS for field hospital

The owners of a former factory are offering up the facility to be used as an NHS field hospital to help tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Sandy and James Easdale, as well as Seamus Shields, have put forward the vacant IBM site near Greenock for free to assist with the pandemic.

The vacant 65,000sq ft building at Spango Valley has a canteen, toilet and office facilities in place together with a network of utilities.

Soccer – Scottish League One – Rangers v Dunfermline Athletic – Ibrox Stadium
Soccer – Scottish League One – Rangers v Dunfermline Athletic – Ibrox Stadium

It comes after Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, revealed sites are being considered for such a facility.

The Easdales, owners of McGill’s Buses, said: “The NHS and the Scottish Government are looking at potential options for field hospitals in Scotland, similar to what is being facilitated at the Excel in London.

“We know there will be specific criteria required by the NHS but this is a vacant, large capacity building which is easily accessed in the west of Scotland.

“Contact has already been made with local politicians and Scottish Government regarding its availability and should it be required then we can make progress rapidly on its handover.

“The NHS staff and Government are doing brilliant work to get us through this unprecedented crisis and we are willing to help them in any way we can.”

Inside former factory
Inside former factory

Mr Shields, joint owner of the site and owner of Advance Construction, said: “As a business we are navigating ourselves through these challenging times and can only imagine the pressures that the NHS and Scottish Government are under during this crisis.

“We are delighted to be able to assist in any way possible and my team are ready and willing to help prepare the site if required to enable access and infrastructure requirements of the NHS.”

It comes after the NHS in London announced plans to use the ExCeL Centre to treat up to 4,000 people.