Mon, 01 Jun 2020

A number of top sporting venues in England are offering their facilities to the National Health Service (NHS) and local authorities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord's, Wembley, Silverstone, Wimbledon, Twickenham and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium are among the high-profile venues to open their doors as the country tackles a public health crisis.

Lord's, due to host a Test match between England and West Indies at the end of June, has already made its facilities available to the NHS, the MCC has said.

They have given 75 car parking spaces for NHS staff at the nearby Wellington Hospital, University College Hospital, and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth.

They said in a statement released to the PA news agency: "In light of the current situation regarding the outbreak of Covid-19, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has been in continued dialogue with Westminster City Council as to how the club can utilise elements of Lord's Cricket Ground for the good of the community.

"We are mindful of our responsibility as a sporting institution and as a member of the local community to play our part.

"The close proximity of a number of hospitals to Lord's gives the club the opportunity to assist medical staff so they can concentrate on their ongoing battle against the virus.

"MCC has currently provided 75 parking spaces at Lord's for staff at Wellington Hospital, University College Hospital, and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth. We are also providing storage areas for the Wellington Hospital - which is situated very close to the Ground.

"MCC has provided food to City Harvest London, who help put fresh surplus food to good use in a sustainable way, redistributing to organisations that feed the hungry.

"We are continuing to work closely with our local community, hospitals and organisations to offer support as best we can during this period."

The All England Club, who are holding an emergency board meeting on Wednesday where they are expected to cancel this year's Wimbledon, has offered their facilities and medical equipment to the NHS, but as of Monday have not had any requests.

Premier League club Tottenham have also allowed their stadium to be used to support vulnerable individuals affected.

Spurs, whose 62 000-seater stadium is widely regarded as the best in the world, have held discussions with Haringey Council, the Greater London Authority and the NHS about making use of their arena.

Chairperson Daniel Levy said: "As a club, we have always been clear about our commitment to the wider community - never has this been more important than it is now.

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