Whoppers can wait with no plans to wind down vaccine hub just yet

The food hall at Castle Quarter won't be reopening yet - the vaccine clinic still has work left to do 

The food hall at Castle Quarter won't be reopening yet - the vaccine clinic still has work left to do - Credit: Archant/Burger King

Burger fans hankering for a Whopper in Norwich will have to keep waiting as the city's main vaccine hub still has work to do.

The food court at the Castle Quarter, home to the city centre's only Burger King as well as noodle bar Chopstix, has been closed since January.

At the start of the year the floor was transformed into a vaccination hub for the Covid jab rollout.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have visited to receive their vaccinations as the programme has worked its way through the county's population.

But with the rollout now in an advanced stage, the number of people using the centre has started to tail off.

A sign pointing out the Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden

A sign pointing out the Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden


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The hub was set up as a number of temporary bases for vaccines to be given out, with the plan for it to return to its previous function once it was no longer necessary.

However, the Norfolk and Waveney clinical commissioning group, which is orchestrating the rollout locally, has confirmed that the facility is still very much needed and will continue to serve this purpose for the forseeable future.

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A spokeswoman said: "There are no plans to wind down Castle Quarter and the numbers currently attending simply reflect the ebb and flow of the national programme."

Rob Bradley inside the Castle Mall, Norwich. Photo: Ella Wilkinson

Rob Bradley inside the Castle Mall, Norwich. Photo: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

And likewise the shopping centre is prepared to continue working alongside the CCG to make sure the vaccine rollout can continue smoothly at the site.

Rob Bradley, centre manager at the Castle Quarter, said: "We are continuing to work closely with the NHS and will support them as much as possible. 

"At the time the vaccination centre was being discussed, there were only two tenants in place in the food court. Both tenants were happy to work with us and vacate their units to allow the NHS to take over the whole food court, in order to support the local community.”

Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed which units in the centre will be dedicated to a new temporary jobcentre, a measure from the Department for Work and Pensions designed to address increasing demand for its services.

The centre will take up six units across the lower and upper ground floors, previously occupied by Retro Replay, Emmaus charity shop, Ryman's stationery store and Xist VR.

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