A Cumbrian firm says its unique structures could be used to ease the strain on the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

AirClad, which normally creates semi-permanent structures for the entertainment industry and sporting events, was already in talks with the NHS for about 18 months about supplying semi-permanent medical units on hospital sites before Covid-19 hit.

AirClad’s Rob Statham, who lives near Brampton, said extra wards, medical units and isolation pods could be deployed on hospital sites within weeks using the technology.

He added: “The Government has warned us that the peak of this crisis might be 10 to 14 weeks away and that the pressures that will build on the NHS will be huge with increasing demand for intensive care beds and isolation facilities.

“We have a number of structures available that could be used to create medical units or 20 bed wards as well as smaller pods that can provide a way to quickly offer isolation facilities.

Together they offer a very agile solution and can be up and running within weeks or - in the case of the smaller pods - within hours,” he added.

The company, which has its warehouse facility near Penrith, has already developed designs for several different uses from treatment rooms to offices and believes they are flexible enough to help with the immediate demand for more treatment spaces and wards.

It also creates sleeping pods for between one and four people and recently created a large pop-up hotel.

It is currently trialling a project in Chester, providing a facility for the city’s homeless population.