Work to restart on £20million new leisure centre development in Berwick after lockdown halted construction

The construction of Berwick’s new £20million leisure centre will restart next week following a halt due to the coronavirus lockdown.

By Ben O'Connell
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 11:29 am
A visualisation of how the new leisure centre will look.
A visualisation of how the new leisure centre will look.

The principal building contractor for the development, Tolent Construction, will be back on the current Swan Centre site at Tweedmouth from Monday, May 11.

Work on the first phase of the project, which includes a new swimming pool and fitness suite, started in January and was originally due to open in March 2021.

Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for leisure, Coun Cath Homer, said: “All partners working on this project are committed to delivering the scheme for the people of Berwick, and Tolent will be working hard to make up for lost time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“At this stage, Tolent won’t be operating to full capacity on the site, so it is too early to say whether we can still keep to the March 2021 opening of phase 1, but everyone will be doing their utmost to try.

“Tolent will be implementing strict social distancing to ensure the health and safety of staff and the wider community is not compromised in any way and that measures are compliant with Public Health England guidance.”

The site will not be operating with a number of precautions, including re-programming works to minimise the number of people on site, staggering shifts and break times, providing full-time cleaning services, and implementing one-way access to work areas.

David Thompson, Tolent’s regional director, said: “From the start of this global pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and supply-chain partners has continued to be our number one priority.”

The centre will feature a five-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, teaching and leisure pools plus spa facilities alongside a sports hall, indoor bowls, fitness studios, a café and a sensory room.

Outside, there will be a full-size 3G pitch, a play park and trim trail plus parking for 189 cars and two coaches.

The centre, which will be managed by the council’s leisure partner Active Northumberland, is planned to open to the public in summer 2022.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you