Milestone for Morpeth's £21m new leisure centre as construction work is complete
Dozens of people from contractors Willmott Dixon have been building the new centre for the past 94 weeks and it has been announced that they have now completed their work at the site.
The development on Gas House Lane has now been handed over to Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland, who will be installing all the fixtures and fittings, gym equipment and items for the library, and ensuring staff are fully trained ahead of the opening date – which is expected to be revealed soon.
Coun Jeff Watson, the county council’s cabinet member for healthy lives, said: “The boarding that surrounded the building site has been taken down and we can now all see what an impressive building it is.
“The building contractors Willmott Dixon have had to contend with the Covid restrictions, severe storms and material supply issues – but their team have worked incredibly hard and pulled out all the stops to keep the build on-track.”
The leisure centre will feature a six-lane swimming pool with a spectator gallery, a learner pool, spa facilities, a four-court sports hall, a new gym and functional training offer, a dedicated cycling studio, two fitness studios, a cafe area and soft play.
Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland, said: “Over the coming weeks we will be installing state-of-the-art gym equipment, other facilities, signage and all the fixtures and fittings such as lockers for the changing rooms.
“We are working hard to ensure that all our customers have a seamless transition between the old Riverside Leisure Centre and the new centre, and we will be keeping them fully informed of the transition arrangements once we have a firm opening date.”
The building will also be the new home of the town’s library, a customer service centre and Northumberland Skills’ new learning facility for school leavers and adults to support post-16 education and employment opportunities.
Morpeth North county councillor David Bawn said: “While the focus of the new centre has been on the sport and leisure offering, we must not forget that it will also incorporate a new community services hub – which will provide a one-stop shop enabling residents to access a range of council services under one roof.”