Trio of Northumberland leisure centres are the best in the country for Sport England's Quest ranking

Three sports centres that are operated and managed by Active Northumberland have been ranked the very best in the country in Sport England’s Quest quality assessment.
Morpeth Sports and Leisure Centre. Picture by Michael Gant.Morpeth Sports and Leisure Centre. Picture by Michael Gant.
Morpeth Sports and Leisure Centre. Picture by Michael Gant.

The new Morpeth Sports and Leisure Centre has been ranked first and Ponteland Leisure Centre ranked second. Both centres were also rated as ‘Excellent’ – the only centres to receive this rating in the new assessment.

Blyth Sports Centre was ranked third and received a ‘Very Good’ rating.

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Quest involved the centres and their teams demonstrating proof of high quality and continuous improvement across a broad range of leisure operations and management criteria. This includes cleanliness, health and safety, customer service and customer experience.

Ponteland Leisure Centre.Ponteland Leisure Centre.
Ponteland Leisure Centre.

Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland, said: “Our teams work extremely hard to consistently deliver a top class, quality service for all our customers and to provide an extensive range of activities to encourage everyone, regardless of their age or ability, to become more active.

“It is great that their work has been recognised in this way. I am incredibly proud of all our staff at Active Northumberland and the difference they are making to people’s lives on a daily basis.

“Out of the all the sites across the country that have undertaken the same assessment, to have three of our centres ranking in the top three spots is a really fantastic achievement.”

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The assessment was made up of two parts – a mystery visit and a one-day assessment at the centre.

Blyth Sports Centre.Blyth Sports Centre.
Blyth Sports Centre.

The feedback received from the assessor was very positive across a range of issues. Particular praise was given to the excellent customer service provided by the Active Northumberland team.

The overall standards of cleanliness and hygiene throughout the facilities during the unannounced visits were noted as exemplary.

Also highlighted in the reports were the range of facilities and classes that cater for almost every customer, regardless of age.

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The accessibility of the centres for those who are less able was singled out for praise as well, as were the measures the centres are taking to reduce their environmental impact.

Over recent years, Northumberland County Council has undertaken a countywide £65million investment programme to upgrade and transform sport and leisure facilities across Northumberland.