Less than 20 weeks to go for Morpeth's new leisure centre

The new £21million leisure centre and community hub in Morpeth is progressing at pace and is on track to open to the public in early 2023, Northumberland County Council has announced.
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Contractor firm Willmott Dixon has reached week 81 of a 100-week programme, with the latest phase of work involving the installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof.

The PV panels will convert light to electricity – which will be used to help run the fans, pumps, lighting and new heat pumps and reduce the carbon footprint of the new centre.

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Councillor Jeff Watson, the county council’s cabinet member for healthy lives, recently paid a visit to the site on Gas House Lane to see the progress that has been made.

Signage for the new Morpeth Leisure Centre.Signage for the new Morpeth Leisure Centre.
Signage for the new Morpeth Leisure Centre.

He said: “This amazing centre is really starting to come to life and it is set to provide a fantastic sport and leisure environment for Morpeth and surrounding communities.

“The measures we are putting in place during the construction of this new centre will help to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and are another step towards the council’s ambitious plans to be carbon net zero by 2030.”

Other high efficiency building materials being installed include high density insulated cladding, high energy efficient glazing with thermal screening, air source heat pumps, which use outside heat to help power the centre, and LED lighting throughout.

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The ventilation systems will also use the latest ‘smart’ technology to increase control and efficiency through the building management system.

Local ward county councillor David Bawn said: “We made a commitment to Morpeth residents to provide a top-quality leisure facility and it’s great to see it becoming a reality.

“I’m impressed with the progress we’ve seen on site in recent months.”

The county council funded centre will incorporate a six-lane swimming pool with a spectator gallery, a learner pool, spa facilities, a four-court sports hall, a new 100-station gym, a dedicated spinning studio, two fitness studios, a café area and soft play.

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It will also include a new community services hub with a library, customer service centre and other facilities.

Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland which is overseeing the project management, said: “It’s really exciting to see the leisure centre start to take shape.

“It will be bright, modern, accessible and inclusive for all ages and abilities.”