M&S doors set to re-open in Kirkcaldy High Street as Fife's biggest vaccine centre
The former Marks and Spencer store on Kirkcaldy’s High Street is set to re-open its doors - as Fife’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic.
The retailer has given NHS Fife free use of the former store to create the major facility.
It is of four major new centres planned across Fife, and is expected to be operational next month.
Vaccinations will continue to be by appointment only.
NHS Fife has already given first jags to over 190,000 Fifers - but the programme is set to ramp up with the launch of even bigger centres to ensure all adults in Fife are offered vaccinations.
The centres will be over and above a network of 19 clinics.
NHS Fife staff have been working tirelessly for a number of weeks to prepare the former store and make the necessary adaptations to support the safe running of the clinic.
M&S was seen as ideal given its size and accessibility - and it can also operate safely with social distancing measures.
M&S closed its doors in 2019, but retained the lease to the building, and the company was happy to assist by handing it over without charge.
Scott Garden, NHS Fife director of pharmacy and medicines, said: “We want to offer our most sincere thanks to Marks and Spencer for the generous offer of the use of their former store on Kirkcaldy High Street for use as a mass vaccination clinic.
“With the overwhelming majority of those in our priority groups now having received their first vaccination, it’s vital that we adapt the delivery of the programme in order that we can carry out the volumes necessary to vaccinate our younger adult population.
“Clinics such as the one planned on Kirkcaldy High Street will provide significant capacity to will ensure that we can perform as many vaccinations as the vaccine supply allows.”
He said a “considerable amount of work” has been carried out over recent months to assess potential sites capable of handling big numbers of people who will all be seen by appointment.
He added: “While the scale of the COVID-19 vaccination programme here in Fife is unlike anything we have ever undertaken, we are really encouraged with the considerable progress made and remain confident that we are well-placed as we transition into the next phase of the programme.”
M&S was a key part of the town’s High Street for 80 years until the store closed. The company retains a food hall at Fife Retail Park, and it opened a new facility in Glenrothes town centre just as it ended its long-standing association with Kirkcaldy’s High Street.
Shona Lawrie, M&S regional said: “As soon as we were approached to see if our former store was suitable, we were determined to pull out all the stops to make it happen.
“M&S is extremely proud to get involved – we think it is a brilliant idea to use this site and we’re keen to do all we can to help NHS Fife and the Scottish Government accelerate the rollout of the vaccination programme.”