New leisure complex plans move step closer

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LIBRARY and arts facilities are two of the services Ashington residents are being urged to have their say about as a second consultation period about a proposed new leisure centre in Ashington gets under way.

A questionnaire has been sent to residents and businesses this week, asking for their views on the activities and services they would like to see included in the new centre.

Northumberland County Council is looking to bring a range of services together under one roof in the new centre, expected to be built at the former Asda site at Lintonville.

International consultancy firm Parsons Brinckerhoff has been appointed to produce plans for the centre, to include community facilities such as a library, registrar’s office, café and meeting rooms.

The centre’s leisure facilities are expected to include a swimming pool, gym and sports hall.

Neil Bradbury, the council’s executive member for customer relations and culture, said: “Ashington’s new building will be designed to meet the needs of the community.

“It will offer an opportunity for a greater range of community services and activities, with a new library and additional areas which could host anything from workshops and classes through to music and performance events.

“We now need to hear the kind of arts events that the people of Ashington would like us to provide.

“I’d urge them to send us their thoughts through this new consultation questionnaire.”

Earlier this year, an initial consultation exercise sought views on the proposed sites for the facility and the broader range of services residents would like to see included.

The results of that consultation and the next steps in the process were discussed by the county council’s executive in April.