THE centre that played a key role in defeating coronavirus is to get a new lease of life as a venue for live music and sporting events.

Priory Campus at Lundwood was where thousands of Barnsley people got their Covid vaccines.

At the peak of the pandemic, long queues of patients snaked around the car park to get their jabs.

Barnsley Healthcare Federation owns the building which is already being used as a venue for exercise classes, self help groups and craft clubs.

James Barker, chief executive of BHF, told the Chronicle: “We are extremely excited to be able to relaunch and reinvigorate a magnificent Barnsley landmark.

“Our team has worked hard to create a warm and welcoming environment for Barnsley residents to use.

“We want to promote health and wellbeing services as well as providing a modern venue for community events.

“At the end of the day, it is my ambition for BHF Priory Centre to help the local community meet, share and connect.”

It’s a far cry from the pandemic when people were social distancing, but James said it shows how far the town has come since then.

“We still provide Covid jabs here but we’re trying to make it more than that,” he added.

“The hall that people will be used to for having their vaccinations, it’s perfect for up-and-coming Barnsley artists to perform.

“We want people to be able to come here and enjoy it.”

The centre aims to become a leading venue for live events and activities, showcasing local talent after the £500,000 refurbishment.

And that’s exactly what they’ll be doing on May 18 when some of the town’s most recognisable faces join together for the venue’s first live gig.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Tom Masters will join X Factor quarter-finalist Holly Tandy and up and coming artist Daz Cadwallander to open the venue.

Natalie Latham, who runs the centre, added: “In the coming months we have a series of events planned for local people to enjoy.

“We will be screening all of England’s Euro 2024 matches and we have created Live @ the Priory, music nights designed to showcase up and coming musical talent.

“We are thrilled the centre is now open and ready to welcome guests.”

But bosses aren’t resting on their laurels and the Chronicle understands the centre is set for even further developments.

Over the coming months a local food pantry will open to support some of the town’s most vulnerable residents, whilst a community garden will also be unveiled.

“The centre looks forward to welcoming groups and individuals to visit and enjoy the facilities,” James added.