Plans approved for Morpeth’s £21 million new leisure centre
Plans for a new state-of-the art £21 million leisure centre and community hub were given a seal of approval at Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee, paving the way for an Autumn 2020 start date.
The meeting was held virtually with the views from members of the public read to councillors. It was streamed on the council’s YouTube channel.
The new complex will be built on the site of The Terrace on Gas House Lane and will be run by Active Northumberland, the charitable trust that manages leisure services across the county.
Contractors will now be appointed to carry out the building work which is expected to be completed by Spring 2022.
The centre will include a six-lane swimming pool with spectator gallery, a learner pool, spa facilities, a four-court sports hall, a new 100 station fitness suite, a dedicated spinning studio, large fitness studios, a cafe area and soft play.
The plans also incorporate a new community services hub which will see the town’s library move back to its former home on Gas House Lane, a customer service centre and a new adult learning facility with classrooms for STEM learning and catering.
Leader of Northumberland County Council, Peter Jackson said: “The new leisure centre plans are ambitious, forward-looking and are eagerly awaited and have been developed in consultation with the local community. With planning consent firmly secured, work can now start to create a modern leisure facility which meets the needs of the community, creating new and exciting opportunities for individuals, families, schools and sporting enthusiasts to realise their fitness, lifestyle and sporting goals.”
Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts, Leisure and Tourism, said: “I am delighted that this planning application has been approved. It now means we are able to move forward with the development and soon offer more great opportunities for people living in Morpeth and the surrounding area to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Mark Warnes, interim Chief Executive of Active Northumberland said:“ It’s great that such rapid progress has been made in designing and developing the new centre and that the green light has now been given to start building it. The new centre will be a real asset for the town and a wonderful place, with great facilities, for residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”
Advance Northumberland, the regeneration company established by Northumberland County Council, is responsible for delivering the project. The centre has been designed by GT3 Architects.
The funding for the centre has been financed by Northumberland County Council as part of an ambitious £65 million countywide investment programme to upgrade and transform sport and leisure facilities and to enhance the customer experience. This includes the building of new leisure centres in Berwick and Ponteland and major investment to refurbish and revitalise centres in Blyth and Hexham.