The Business Design Centre’s history of supporting Islington in a national crisis

Business Design Centre as a post room in the Second World War

In March, Islington’s Business Design Centre opened its doors as a large-scale Covid-19 vaccination facility, and only this month, the first person in London to receive the Moderna vaccine was vaccinated at the centre on Upper Street.

Run by University College London Hospitals (UCLH), the large exhibition hall has been converted in to a vaccination centre, with private booths where people are consented and then vaccinated. The bright and welcoming space makes social distancing easy, with volunteers and staff on hand to help guide people through the process.

Based in the heart of Angel, the Business Design centre normally plays host to around two hundred and fifty events each year, welcoming almost one million visitors through its doors. But its transformation into a vaccination centre isn’t the first time that the building has been used for the nation’s benefit as Jack Morris CBE, Business Design Centre Chairman, told us: “The building has a huge history of serving the public over the years. Back in the war, in previous wars, it’s always done its bit.”

In 1943 the Post Office half a mile away was bombed, leading to the Government requisitioning the then Royal Agricultural Hall for the inland and foreign parcels departments throughout the Second World War. Although inland parcels returned to Mount Pleasant, foreign parcels and customs remained in the main hall until many years after the war.

Playing its part in the national effort to support the vaccination programme is of vital importance in Islington’s, and the country’s, Covid-19 recovery. The size and location of the Business Design Centre makes it an ideal venue for this vital, large-scale vaccination programme, which offers us all the best possible chance to get back to a more normal way of life. Mr Morris CBE continued: “But, for me, this activity shows the power of community between the NHS, Islington Council, the volunteers, everyone who has been involved in putting this together, including the Business Design Centre, because it is saving lives at a time of national crisis and we’re very, very proud to be involved with supporting that.”

Now we all have the chance to play our part in defeating this terrible disease by getting vaccinated.

More on how the vaccination centre works. If you are in one of the current priority groups, you can book your vaccination appointment.

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