Crowds flock to new leisure centre

Hundreds of residents and visitors have visited the new Ashington Leisure Centre on its first public opening day.

The flagship leisure facility in Ashington is a regional centre of excellence for sport with facilities including indoor cricket nets; a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, exercise studios, and a six-court sports hall with extensive floor space and equipment for gymnasts.

Over 750 members had joined as members of the new centre by the opening morning with many more attending and joining the centre throughout the day.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “After five-and-a-half years of hard work and planning, the people of Ashington and Northumberland can now be very proud of this new facility.

“There is something for all Northumberland residents and visitors including a brilliant new space on two floors which is the new home of the new Ashington library, in addition to the world-class sports hall and the exercise and cycling studios.”

Centre manager, Andy Laidler, said, “We are delighted at the response of people to the opening of the centre and it is wonderful to see the smiles on everyone’s faces today.

“The facilities here are truly excellent and anyone who wants to come along and see or try out an activity is very welcome.”

The building’s design incorporates a number of artistic features including feature windows inspired by the Pitmen Painters.