Morpeth's new leisure centre will be eco-friendly

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The new £21million leisure centre and community hub in Morpeth is still on track for a public opening in early 2023, Northumberland County Council has announced.

And the local authority has also revealed that the facility on Gas House Lane will contain a number of eco-friendly measures to drive down running costs and the environmental impact.

The new centre is expected to run with a 69.7 per cent carbon emission reduction per year, compared to the current Riverside Leisure Centre.

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Contractors Willmott Dixon are in week 67 of a 94-week programme and the high efficiency building materials being used include high density insulated cladding, high energy efficient glazing with thermal screening, air source heat pumps which use outside heat to help power the buildings, LED lighting throughout and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Morpeth Leisure Centre under construction.Morpeth Leisure Centre under construction.
Morpeth Leisure Centre under construction.

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

Jeff Watson, cabinet member for healthy lives said: “Sports centres incorporate an extensive array of energy intensive facilities, including electrical fitness equipment and swimming pools. In addition, there are the day-to-day lighting, heating and ventilation demands of the property, combined with long opening hours.

“Consequently, the energy consumption and costs of sports and leisure centres can be considerable.

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“Now more than ever, we need to increase energy efficiency and 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.”

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

Local ward councillor David Bawn added: “The new, modern centre will boast a range of energy efficient technologies that will reduce energy bills and keep costs down, putting the centre on a strong financial footing for the future.”

Once complete, the county council funded leisure centre will be home to a six-lane swimming pool with 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.

It will also incorporate a new community services hub, which will see the town’s library move back to its former home site, a customer service centre and a new adult learning facility with classrooms for STEM learning and catering.