A multi-million pound refurbishment of a Northumberland leisure centre is due to begin next month.
Active Northumberland and Northumberland County Council are investing £3.5m to modernise Concordia Leisure Centre, in Cramlington, and bring new family entertainment.
we want to create a modern leisure space that appeals to families and individualsBruce Ledger, chief executive of Active Northumberland
Work is due to start in September and will include the refurbishment of the gym plus provision of a new Clip ‘n Climb activity, soft play facilities and tenpin bowling alley.
Bruce Ledger, chief executive of Active Northumberland, said: “The development at Concordia is just the beginning of our site improvement plans and we want to create a modern leisure space that appeals to families and individuals.
“One of our biggest priorities is to inspire people to be active every day and the refurbishment of Concordia will provide residents with fantastic facilities.”
The plans also include developing a dedicated spinning studio, a new fitness studio, a revamped café and the relocation of Cramlington Library into the centre.
The modernisation work will be done in three phases to minimise disruption.
In phase one the existing sports hall will be divided in two with one half unchanged, housing four courts for badminton and football, while the other will feature a themed four-storey soft play area for children of all ages.
The hall will also house the area’s first Clip ‘n Climb, a unique series of climbing-based challenges that use an automatic belay device to make indoor climbing accessible for all ages and abilities.
The work in the sports hall will be completed in November and the gym refurbishment in December.
The gym will be extended from its current location through to the studio where the climbing wall will be removed. The number of machines will almost double to more than 100 with a dedicated area for functional training.
Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “We recognise that there is an increasing demand for improved facilities at Concordia and the refurbishment will make the centre fit for the 21st century.
“Health and wellbeing is hugely important and the modernised centre will give residents and visitors a much better space and new opportunities to be more active.”
The second development phase starting in November includes work to create the tenpin bowling alley, a dedicated spinning studio, a new spa and updates to the dry changing areas and party rooms.
The spinning studio will be completed in February 2016.
The new bowling area will have ten lanes built on the site of the old bowling green, and the bar and catering will be revamped with this work due to be completed by April 2016.
Local ward councillor, Kathy Graham, said: “The new bowling alley in Concordia will be a great addition to the town and will complement the excellent facilities and shops in the centre.
“The integration of the library is part of Northumberland County Council’s plan to co-locate services to make them more accessible and to invest in its most important buildings to make the best use of them.”
The party rooms and dry changing will also be improved and the sauna will be converted into a new spa facility which will feature a spa bath, sauna, steam room, aromatherapy room, heated footspa and monsoon showers.
The dry change areas will be completely refurbished and created to serve both the spa and dry sports and will be completed in April 2016.
Phase 3, from March to June 2016, features improvements to the foyer and entrance, the creation of an additional fitness studio, and the relocation of Cramlington Library into the Leisure Centre.
The foyer and entrance of Concordia will be revamped with the main stairway repositioned and the building of a new café kiosk and seating area to replace the current first floor café.
The offices on the ground and first floor will be converted into a new facility which will house Cramlington Library, in line with Active Northumberland and Northumberland County Council’s plans to integrate leisure with tourism, culture and libraries.