Venue Cymru vaccination centre to be a theatre again in summer
Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter
Plans to decommission Llandudno’s Venue Cymru as a coronavirus hospital are getting underway.
The theatre and conference complex was hastily re-purposed in April last year as a Rainbow Hospital, ready for an anticipated wave of patients recovering from Covid.
Thankfully it wasn’t needed and was initially used as an admin and ante-natal appointment centre for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, while remaining on standby during the second wave of infections.
With the roll-out of the Covid jabs it then became a mass vaccination centre, as an integral part of the biggest inoculation drive in the region’s history.
Now, with the facility due to be handed back for its intended use later in the summer, the first stages of stepping down are ready to take place.
The huge oxygen tanks on the east side of the building will be discharged from Tuesday morning.
A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr said: “The oxygen tanks outside Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno at Venue Cymru will be emptied as part of the temporary hospital’s planned decommissioning.
“Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno was not used to treat Covid-19 patients and, due to the low rates of Covid-19 in North Wales, the oxygen system is no longer required.”
With supplies of oxygen being highlighted after the publicised shortages in India it has frustrated some people that the oxygen cannot be re-purposed, but there is no safe way of transporting the gas within the huge tanks the spokesman said.
The site will be secured while the procedure takes place and locals will hear it happening.
However, the spokesman reassured residents there was no danger to them.
He said: “This standard procedure will be noisy and, depending on the weather conditions, can take up to a few hours.
“Clouds will be visible from some distance away, but this is not at all harmful and there is no risk to health.”
Arrangements will then be made to remove the tanks, which were installed in June of last year.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is aware of the procedure, so there is no need for members of the public to report the issue to them.