HEALTH chiefs have still not confirmed when the former Artrix Theatre will open as a mass coronavirus vaccination centre – despite the venue having been ready for use for several weeks.

The Advertiser understands Bromsgrove District Council readied the vacant Slideslow Drive site for use last month but that the venue is still awaiting a supply of vaccines and NHS staff to deliver them.

Requests made to both NHS Midlands and the Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) about when the Artrix vaccination centre will be up and running have not yielded an answer.

A CCG spokesperson said: “No further detail has been announced by the Government as to when the larger vaccination centres will be opening in Worcestershire, these are being announced nationally.”

An NHS Midlands response said a list of all live vaccination centres can be found online at and advised people to check that site regularly.

But it offered no date for the launch at The Artrix, which has been empty since last April, when the financial effects of the pandemic caused it to close its doors for good.

Councillor Luke Mallett, Labour representative for Hill Top ward, said there could be many reasons for the delay but is keen to see the centre rolling out jabs soon.

He said: “It’s positive we have a local vaccination centre due to open in Bromsgrove, we need that to happen urgently, so that more local residents can be protected from the virus.”

Councillor Harrison Rone-Clarke, who has recently recovered from Covid, reiterated those calls.

“My ward, Rock Hill and Charford, is probably the worst affected area at the moment, it has the top two Covid rates in the district, and it’s pretty bad around here,” he said.

“People probably don’t feel safe because of how high the numbers are – and with vaccination comes that sense of security, especially for the elderly and the vulnerable.

“We’re not getting that yet because the vaccination centre isn’t up and running – I wish I’d managed to get my vaccine before catching the virus because it was very unpleasant.”

Vaccinations have been up and running in the BHI Parkside surgery on Stourbridge Road for a week now but an elderly resident called the Advertiser to say a larger centre such as The Artrix would be far more convenient.

The 87-year-old, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “They have ample parking at The Artrix and a bigger facility.”

As of Thursday (January 14), NHS figures showed 1.7million vaccine doses had been delivered to UK residents, including just 310,000 in the Midlands, with 165,000 of that regional number being patients aged 80+.

However, the figures are only available at national and regional level, meaning there is no clarification as to the number of vaccines that have been delivered in Worcestershire or, more locally, Bromsgrove.