Council's leisure pledge for town

A new leisure centre is to be built in Blyth, Northumberland County Council has announced.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 12:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 1:00 pm
The current Blyth Sports Centre in Bolam Park, pictured, will be replaced by a new leisure centre for the town, Northumberland County Council has announced.

The administration is now ‘actively searching for a suitable site’ to replace the ageing Blyth Sports Centre in Bolam Park.

This news follows the announcement earlier this month that a new leisure centre plus library has been earmarked for a riverside site in Morpeth. It is also looking to replace the current leisure facility in Berwick.

Council leader Grant Davey said: “I am very aware of the demand and need for 21st century leisure and culture facilities in both Blyth and Berwick, particularly to ensure the well-being needs of our communities are served correctly.

“Blyth Sports Centre is 60 years old – the baths were designed by the famous architect John Poulson. But they were built for their time and are not up to the current standards that our residents deserve for modern leisure and culture use.

“So I am delighted to report that this administration is now actively searching for two suitable sites.

“Just like with our new Morpeth scheme, we would like to involve local residents in giving their views on the sort of facilities they would want to see included.

“And again just like Morpeth, the new leisure centres will provide even more reasons for people to enjoy our regenerated towns.”

As well as the swimming pools, the current Blyth Sports Centre includes a sauna cabin, steam room, gym, large sports hall, squash courts and a soft play area.

Lorraine Dewison, chief executive of Active Northumberland that runs leisure services for the council, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for residents in and around both these towns, who really need 21st century facilities.

“Northumberland will benefit from having the largest number of high-quality leisure facilities in the north of England. Health and fitness, combined with better cultural opportunities, will improve people’s lives while the increased tourism helps the county’s economy.”