Funding boost to improve town’s sports facilities

Bedlingtonshire Community High School, Bedlington Station.
Bedlingtonshire Community High School, Bedlington Station.
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Sports facilities are set to be improved in Bedlington, thanks to a £2m investment.

Facilities at the new Bedlingtonshire Community High School, currently under construction, will open to the public from September 2016, while there will be new developments at Gallagher Park.

Developments at the school will include a new studio for health and fitness classes, and a multi-functional four-court sports hall for activities including badminton, basketball, volleyball, netball and five-a-side football.

There will also be a gym facility and a floodlit 3rd Generation Football Pitch.

The council and Active Northumberland will create a new Sporting Club of Bedlington at the school which will become a sports centre for the town offering full facilities to the public.

People will be able to access the facilities after school, at weekends and during school holidays.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are delighted to announce these exciting developments at Bedlington and the new facilities provide important places and spaces for sport.

“The modernisation of Gallagher Park will provide a much needed community resource – a hub for existing activities and a base to attract new sport and recreational events and activities throughout the year.”

Funding for the developments has come from the council and sports organisations.

The council has been awarded £430,000 from the Football Foundation for the pitch with the council providing £167,000 towards the £650,000 project costs.

Sport England has provided a grant of £135,000 for the new pavilion at Gallagher Park which will include new changing rooms and a kitchen.

And £300,000 funding from the council’s leisure budget will improve the facilities at Bedlingtonshire Community High School.

Ron Hinshaw, deputy head at Bedlingtonshire Community High School, said: “We are all delighted and excited by the potential the new sports facilities will bring for the children and local community.

“It has been a long held desire for the school to be at the heart of the local community and this investment will enable us to do just that.

“The overall offer for students, parents and the local community at Bedlingtonshire Community High will be one built around top class facilities.

“They enable us to continue to raise the standards of teaching and learning as well as support people to have more ‘active’ and healthy lifestyles.”

Coun Tyler added: “Through this additional investment Bedlington residents will be able to fully access the excellent facilities at the school sports centre which open in 2016.

“It is heartening to see that even in times of austerity we are pushing forward to provide much needed sport and leisure facilities for the residents of Bedlington.”

For full information, visit www.activenorthumberland.org.uk