• 06 May 2020

Work is due to recommence on the construction of Berwick’s new state of the art leisure centre following a halt in building work due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Next week (11 May) Tolent, the principal building contractor, will restart work on the £20 million development which is being built on the current Swan Centre site at Tweedmouth.

Work on Phase 1, which includes a new swimming pool and fitness suite started in January and was due to open in March 2021.

The centre is expected to be fully complete and open to the public in summer 2022. It will be managed by Active Northumberland who run the current Swan Centre.

Northumberland County Councillor, Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure 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.  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 to the capacity it was before Covid-19 and revised precautions  will be implemented to protect those working. These include: re-programming works to minimise the number of people on site, staggering shifts and break times, providing full time cleaning services, implementing one-way access to work areas and at all times carrying out modified risk assessments to implement social distancing.

David Thompson, regional director for Tolent 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.

“All welfare procedures and systems are fully compliant with the guidelines issued by the Government via the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and we continue to monitor the situation diligently and will adapt accordingly to any subsequent advice from the Government.”

The new sport centre will feature a five-lane, 25m swimming pool, a teaching pool and leisure pool and spa facilities. There will be a sports hall, indoor bowls, fitness studios, cafe and a sensory room. Outside there will be a 3G full-size playing pitch, play park and trim trail and parking for 175 cars.