Ambitious plans to develop leisure site

The Facilities Manager of Concordia Leisure Centre, Colin Whitfield. GM034821
The Facilities Manager of Concordia Leisure Centre, Colin Whitfield. GM034821

A popular leisure centre could be transformed into a new attraction for all the family if ambitious plans are approved.

Potential plans are being discussed to bring Concordia Leisure Centre in Cramlington more up to date and in line with the recent developments in the town.

Proposals include the inclusion of a ten-lane ten-pin bowling alley, a spa, a large soft play area for children of all ages, a climbing challenge, as well as an extension to the gym to include functional training aspects, a dedicated spinning studio, and new catering services.

Facilities manager Colin Winfield said: “Cramlington is changing, developing and moving forward, and we can’t afford to be left behind.

“Concordia is pivotal to the town and we need to be at the front of these changes, we can’t stand still.

“We are looking at a number of areas within the building.

“Cramlington now has a cinema, and with that we wanted to bring a ten-pin bowling alley to the area.

“We want to give Cramlington what it’s missing, so we are looking at including a half-day spa facility, where we want to create something on a par with going to a private hotel.

“All of these things will keep people in the town centre as these are things that we don’t have in Cramlington.

“The leisure centre is very traditional and time has moved on and we need to move with the times.

“We want to move away from the notion of a traditional leisure centre and look to create more of a family entertainment centre.”

Centre bosses are now working on a business plan and feasibility study before plans are decided.

Bruce Ledger, chief executive of Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure, which manages Concordia, added: “We need to make Concordia relevant for the future and give it another ten-year life-span with things that people want to do.

“Sports and leisure habits change and we are moving with these changes, as the town is, and we need to react to the change in demand.

“Nothing is final yet, but we think these are exciting times for Concordia and for Cramlington.”

Firm proposals are expected by the end of April, with a view to completing all the work by the end of the year.

Plans will go on show to the public in the foyer of Concordia once a business plan has been agreed.