A COUNTY councillor is calling for a Tynedale Covid-19 testing centre after an increase in positive cases in the district.

In a bid to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for Tyne Valley communities, county councillor for Prudhoe South, Coun. Gordon Stewart, has called on the Department for Health to launch a permanent testing facility in Tynedale as a matter of urgency.

It comes after Northumberland County Council confirmed two new testing sites, operated by the Department for Health, in Ashington and Blyth last week.

Coun. Stewart, who also chairs Tynedale Local Area Council, said: “I am pleased that sites have been identified in South East Northumberland, but ask that the demand for tests in the Tynedale be closely monitored and a testing facility be located in the area, rather than residents travelling may miles.

“Confirmed cases in Gateshead and Newcastle are high and those areas are located close to Tynedale and the main A69 and A68 roads through Tynedale, and bring many visitors into the county.

Last week the Courant revealed Tynedale residents with Covid-19 symptoms are struggling to get a test with many being told to travel hundreds of miles.