Opening of new leisure centre is delayed

An artist's impression of the proposed new Ashington Leisure Centre.
An artist's impression of the proposed new Ashington Leisure Centre.

The opening of a new leisure centre has been delayed due to a number of “unexpected technical issues”.

Officials had been hoping to open the new £21m Ashington Leisure Centre at the end of this month.

But due to a number of issues, it will open on Monday, January 4, 2016.

The centre will feature 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 centre which will be managed by Active Northumberland and is built by Carillion.

Coun Dave Ledger, chair of Arch and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “It is very important all the work is finished to the highest standard and while it is very regrettable that the opening date for the new Ashington leisure centre has been put back a few weeks, this will ensure that the building is exactly right and provides the state-of-the-art facilities people deserve.

“The centre will be a fabulous facility for Ashington and the county and it will be now open in time for the busy post-Christmas period.”

The centre will also be the new home for the Ashington library which will be situated on two floors in the new building.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are very disappointed that the opening time has slipped a little as we know how excited people are about the new leisure centre and it is an incredible opportunity for sports and leisure development in the town and surrounding area.

“We are all working hard to ensure that everything is right for the New Year.”

The leisure investment in Ashington is part of the council’s wider plans for the regeneration of the county which will see more services provided locally as part of a review of the council’s buildings and assets in nine main towns which will generate more than £33m in capital income and make annual savings in council running costs of £3.4m.

The new centre will also have a luxurious spa, a soft play area and a café, and the building’s design incorporates a number of artistic features including feature windows inspired by the Pitmen Painters.

The existing facilities at the current Ashington Library and Leisure Centre will remain open for business as usual until the new facility is ready in January.

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