A POPULAR Hampshire theme park has revealed they are keen to join the fight against coronavirus.

Paultons Park in Ower, Romsey, announced they want to help "in anyway they can" days after a drive-through testing centre for NHS workers opened at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

Tests began at the Surrey theme park with the help of pharmacy chain Boots in a bid to support the Government's plan to test NHS staff showing symptoms of the virus.

Now Test Valley community leaders have backed Paultons Park's stance to support NHS workers after the number of coronavirus cases in Hampshire jumped from 432 to 498 in just 24 hours on Tuesday, according to Public Health England.

Cllr Nick Adams-King, who represents Blackwater on the borough council, said: "That would be a great idea because the challenge at the moment is the NHS system is waiting for sufficient testing equipment and they are really interested to see who had the virus.

"They would be an ideal location to set up testing as they have done it in Chessington World of Adventures."

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "I think it is a wonderful idea because we are quite along way from the one in Surrey and we have quite a few hospitals in the area.

"The priority at the moment has to be for health and key workers, but after that it would be an excellent facility for the general public.

"I think we have to do all we can to safeguard key workers, especially in health services, so I really feel very strongly that we should be using any local facilities to help."

She added: "There are lots of people volunteering and we should protect them all we can."

A spokesperson from Paultons Park said: "While Paultons Park haven't been approached by Boots, they would certainly be open to discussing this with a view to helping in any way they can."

Boots and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust have been contacted for comment.