Northumberland swimming pools reopen with new safety measures - here's how you can book a place

Swimming pools across Northumberland have reopened with a range of new safety measures.

By Peter Tennick
Thursday, 6th August 2020, 11:31 am
Willowburn Sports Centre, Alnwick.
Willowburn Sports Centre, Alnwick.

Active Northumberland swimming pools have reopened to the public this week but swimmers must pre-book a time slot, before taking the plunge.

It is lane swimming only with the option of a slow, medium or fast swimming lane. Swimmers must also register and pre-book online as numbers in the pools will be restricted to ensure there is plenty of space for social distancing.

As government lockdown restrictions eased, nine key sports centres in the county reopened their doors on July 25. Initially the swimming pools had a members only policy while numbers and demand for swimming was monitored.

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Now Active Northumberland feels it has the capacity to be able to safely open the pools to non-members, aged 14 years of age and above.

In order to pre-book the pay-as-you-go public will need to register an account with Active Northumberland at in order to get a member ID and Pin Number. This will enable them to book a time slot, a day in advance, on the website or Active Northumberland app.

There are some new health and safety guidelines in place to ensure people are kept safe so those looking to start swimming are advised to log on to the Active Northumberland website to familiarise themselves with the new procedures.

Mark Warnes, Acting Chief Executive of Active Northumberland said: “The safety of our customers and our staff is our top priority and we have stringent new hygiene and social distancing practices in place, as well as limiting the number of people taking part in various activities.

“We are reopening our facilities in a phased and careful manner and after monitoring the swimming pools we have the capacity to open them up to the wider public. Numbers in the pool at any one time will always be restricted so pre-booking a time slot is essential and at this stage, because of the safety precautions that we are asking people to adhere to, the swimming will only be open to those who are 14 years of age and above.”

Active Northumberland has sought industry advice from Swim England, UK Active and Public Health England. There are new safety and social distancing guidelines in place, while cleaning schedules have been ramped up considerably and numbers in the centres are restricted.

Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said: “Over the past week or so we’ve had a great response from members who are thrilled to be back using the fantastic facilities in the centres and who tell us they feel very reassured by all the hygiene and safety precautions that have been put in place.”

“The past few months have been an unprecedented time for us all and I’d like to thank the public for their patience as we work to reopen the sports centres on a phased basis.

“Opening the swimming pools to the wider public is another step forward. Over time we plan to open more activities, to more people, but at present we have to take a slow and cautious approach to ensure everyone is kept safe."

The pools that will be open for public lane swimming are: Ashington, Alnwick - Willowburn Sports Centre, Berwick - Swan Centre, Blyth Sports Centre, Concordia Sports Centre - Cramlington, Hexham - Wentworth Sports Centre, Morpeth - Riverside Leisure Centre, Ponteland Sports Centre, Prudhoe Waterworld, Concordia, Cramlington.

At this stage the gym and exercise classes can only be booked by Active Northumberland members however fitness instructors are continuing to provide daily home workouts which can be viewed on the Active Northumberland facebook page or YouTube channel.

There are also other activities that non-members can participate in including: Clip n Climb, and sports hall activities such as badminton, table tennis and short tennis.

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