Friday, April 17, 2020

News: Gala Tent wins contract to supply new Nightingale Hospital


Rotherham-based Gala Tent has won the contract to supply thirty six large commercial emergency tents to be used as drive-through test stations at the recently opened Nightingale Hospital at the NEC exhibition complex in Birmingham, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

Founded in 1999, Gala Tent is one of the UK's leading producers of marquees, tents and gazebos. The group has seen a 5% growth at the end of the first quarter of 2020 and is still confident of further growth, despite the threat of the coronavirus and its impact on businesses.

Based at Fairfield Park in Manvers, Gala Tent has grown to sell over 15,000 tents and marquees each year, supplying organisations including the military, NHS, the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police.

The latest deal sees the tents used on entry to the emergency hospital to provide preliminary testing to those admitted and will form a vital part of the operation which is being installed by global construction giant Interserve.

Jason Mace Managing Director at Gala Tent, said: "It's no secret that Covid-19 is hitting the personal and professional lives of every person in Britain and the wider world, so there’s little pleasure in knowing what the tents will be used for, as we all wish it wasn't necessary at all, but there’s huge pride in knowing that Gala Tent has contributed in such a significant way to fighting this horrible virus."


The NEC Nightingale is the second such hospital to be built in the UK to help the NHS cope with a massive increase in Covid-19 related cases with the peak still yet to come, but it is the first to use Gala Tents in this way. It is the biggest such project that Gala Tent has been involved in during the pandemic, but just the latest of many that the company has supplied to, following Farnham Hospital's own testing station being launched last week.

Ryan Bracha, Business Development Manager at Gala Tent, said: "It's definitely bittersweet, but I'm really proud of the guys who went out of their way at the last minute to get in and get everything ready for dispatch. I was in Birmingham personally dropping off some other essential items that were needed at short notice, so I've seen what's going on in the grounds of the NEC, and the scale of the thing is immense. Interserve crews are working 24/7 to get it finished so more lives can be saved."

The overall site includes testing zones, an initial 500 emergency hospital beds, potentially raising to 5000 if necessary, and a mortuary. It is intended that the site will accept patients when local hospitals reach capacity, ensuring that treatment is delivered in the best place possible at all times.

Paul Cunnington, Project Manager at Interserve, said: "We've all pushed hard to get everything finished as soon as possible so that the hospital could begin to accept patients and lives could be saved. We got the tents up in a matter of hours, which was important as we didn’t have the luxury of a few days to erect a larger structure and Gala Tent was able to deliver."

Gala Tent website

Images: Gala Tent


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