Launch event marks start of a new era for Active Northumberland

Active Northumberland has officially launched its new brand, marking the start of a new era for the charitable trust as it sets out its ambitious vision for the future.

Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 2:47 pm
Leader of NCC, Coun Peter Jackson, David Hall, chair of the Board of Active Northumberland, Coun Cath Homer, Cabinet member for Leisure, Mark Tweedie, Chief Executive of Active Northumberland, Front Commonwealth gymnast Craig Heap and Commonwealth Swimmer David Cumberlidge.

Under new leadership, and with strong backing from Northumberland County Council, Active Northumberland is working to be one of the most innovative and leading leisure trusts in the country.

The Leisure Trust is responsible for managing leisure services across Northumberland including 15 gyms, 9 swimming pools and an array of specialist services.

At the launch at Concordia Leisure Centre, those attending were able to hear inspirational stories from local people who have been supported by Active Northumberland staff through their personal health and fitness journeys.

David Cumberlidge who started swimming at Wentworth Pool in Hexham talked about his experiences and swimming career, while ex olympic gymnast Craig Heap was compere. Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer talked about the council’s multi million investment in leisure, and chairman of the board, David Hall talked about Active Northumberland’s vision for the future as the Trust begins its transformation journey.

An ambitious, £65million pound investment programme, financed by Northumberland County Council, is already underway which is set to transform sport and leisure facilities and enhance the customer experience. This includes the building of new leisure centres in Berwick, Morpeth and Ponteland and major investment to refurbish and revitalise two other centres in Blyth and Hexham.

With a strong focus on community health and improving both physical and mental wellbeing, the investment is set to transform the centres into community wellness hubs. A range of facilities will be brought together under one roof to welcome and support the whole community, regardless of age, fitness levels or health concerns, to enjoy a physically active lifestyle and to achieve their personal health and wellbeing goals.

Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member for leisure said: “Northumberland is a vast rural county covering almost 2,000 square miles, yet with the recent multi million pound investment in sport and leisure in the county, it will soon have some of the best leisure facilities anywhere in the UK.

“ Over the last year, Active Northumberland has been looking very closely at the way it delivers its services to ensure they are more inclusive, have a greater focus on health and wellbeing and encourage more people to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle. Our aim is to provide an efficient and highly effective service that delivers great experiences and great outcomes for our customers and communities.”

Mark Tweedie, chief executive of Active Northumberland, added: “Our aim is to provide great experiences for people in great places so we can help as many people as we can to be active and feel great with their families and friends. We have a great team of highly capable enthusiastic people who provide fantastic services for the communities we serve, including specialist exercise on referral services that improve the lives of people with health conditions.

"Like many other areas of the country, Northumberland has challenges resulting from health related inequalities and an ageing and relatively inactive population. We are working closely with partners, including health and social care services, to tackle these challenges by further developing and scaling up our services, including extending their scope and reach into our communities and schools to focus on increasing physical activity and improving the wellness of people who really need our support.”