New multi-million pound leisure centre set to open

Ashington Leisure Centre.
Ashington Leisure Centre.

An official opening date has been confirmed for a new multi-million pound leisure centre.

The new Ashington Leisure Centre, which will promote regional sporting excellence, will open to the public on Monday, November 23, followed by an official civic opening on Thursday, December 3.

The centre will be a regional centre of excellence for sport with facilities including indoor cricket nets, a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, and a six-court sports hall with extensive floor space and equipment for gymnasts.

Northumberland County Council is investing £20m in the first phase of sports improvements in the county and the centre will be managed by Active Northumberland.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at the county council, said: “After years of planning and 18 months of construction, the centre is now nearing completion and it is with great delight that we are able to announce the opening date.

“The iconic building offers excellent facilities for schools, individuals, community sports groups and families including multi-functional courts, an amazing soft play area and a luxurious spa.”

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

The centre will also be the new home for the Ashington library which will be situated on two floors in the new building. The library will have an extensive range of books and digital resources, a dedicated IT hub with free wi-fi, and a bespoke children’s library.

Sport England selected Ashington as a regional centre of sporting excellence and has invested in the town’s new leisure centre project through a £1m investment.

Bruce Ledger, chief executive of Active Northumberland, which will manage the new facility, said: “The centre will provide world-class facilities for individuals and teams of all abilities from first steps to professional.

“It is being fitted out with the very latest equipment and has fantastic studio space for lessons and activities. It will have something for everyone who wants to read, relax or be active and it is going to be a huge boost to both the town and the county.”

England test match cricketers, Mark Wood and Steve Harmison, and Steve’s brother, county cricketer Ben Harmison, have given their backing to the centre and become the first official members.

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