Work has started on a new £21m leisure centre in Ashington.
A special ground-breaking ceremony was held on Friday at the site –the former Asda retail store and car park in Lintonville Terrace.
The new Community and Leisure Facility is being funded by Northumberland County Council with support from Sport England through a contribution of £1m of National Lottery funding.
It will feature two swimming pools, advanced gym facilities, spa, multi-function sports hall, and studio space to host classes and activities.
The centre, expected to open next year, will also include a high quality library, a soft play and a cafe.
Development company Arch is the development manager, with the facility being part of the overall regeneration of Ashington town centre.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said: “The Ashington Community Leisure Centre is a major step for the project and we are excited about turning the plans into reality.
“The new development is at the heart of plans to regenerate and revitalise Ashington town centre and provide superb new leisure activities for local people.”
Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader at the council, said: “The council has been fully committed to providing these new facilities for Ashington.
“The local community has been involved and consulted on this scheme from the outset and their views listened to and taken on board.
“Ashington is now on its way to getting the high quality leisure services it deserves. I am sure the new facility will be an enormous asset to the town.”
Coun Val Tyler, policy board member for infrastructure and culture, added: “This is an exciting development which will benefit so many.
“The library will be state-of-the-art and provide a fantastic, modern learning and reading environment for the whole community.”
Sport England property director Charles Johnston said: “It’s great to see that work has commenced on this fantastic new Ashington Community and Leisure Facility.
“By investing in top class, local facilities that improve the sporting experience, we’re helping more people develop a sporting habit for life.”