Berwick's flagship new Sport & Leisure Centre is open to public.
The centre is being built in phases and it is the biggest phase, phase 1 that has opened to the public.
Hundreds of residents have visited Berwick’s new sports and leisure centre as the doors opened to the public for the first time this week.
Situated on the site next to the current leisure centre at Tweedmouth, the £22.6m centre, fully funded by Northumberland County Council and managed by Active Northumberland, will offer a whole new customer experience for all ages of the local community.
These last few days the centre has been buzzing with activity as fitness classes got into full swing, the swimming pool and race slides were in action and the indoor bowling green was in use.
Some people came to have a cuppa and catch up with friends in the new Hive café while others enjoyed the peace and relaxation of the new Tranquillity Spa.
Residents can pay-as-they-go when they visit the centre, but can also become an Active member for just 85p per day which works out cheaper for regular users and has many additional benefits. These include expert one-on-one support and guidance, a specially tailored training package for their personal fitness journey, a health check, access to advance bookings on classes and activities and earning loyalty points each time they visit. There are also discounted rates for students and concessions.
David Thompson, Divisional Director for Tolent, said: "It is fantastic to see the first phase of the project reach completion. The new centre looks incredible and is a testament to the design and construction teams involved. A key part of our construction method was to allow the staggered handover of the centre so services to the public were not disrupted. We look forward to completing the remainder of the development which will see the construction of new sports hall, playing pitches and car park due for completion in 2023.”
Northumberland County Councillor Jeff Watson, cabinet member for health lives said:
“Just a few short years ago this council had a vision to completely transform leisure facilities for the Berwick community. We listened carefully to local people to see what facilities and activities they wanted, and we committed to a multi-million-pound investment. This week the doors have opened on this fantastic state-of-the-art centre.
“It has been planned to cater for the whole community including the elderly, school groups, families, sports clubs and social groups.
“ It really is going to be a great community venue for the town and the surrounding area.”
Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland that will manage the centre said:
“The new facilities will transform the way sport and activity is provided in the area, offering opportunities for the whole community to enjoy. The atmosphere in the centre is fantastic. It’s a high quality, welcoming and modern environment and our experienced team of staff are here to help support local people on their personal health and wellbeing journey. “
“We are very excited about the future and the importance it will play in the local community.”
Berwick's three County Councillors, Cllrs Georgina Hill, Isabel Hunter and Catherine Seymour have also welcomed the opening of the new centre.
Isabel Hunter said: “I’m sure many happy hours will be spent at the centre by residents of Berwick and further afield and I’m very grateful to Tollent and GT3 Architects for delivering a fabulous facility despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Berwick County Counciilor, Georgina Hill said “ This centre will offer much more than a gym, fitness classes and swimming. As important as these are, we hope the centre will become a community hub, with something for everyone, and a real focus on community spirit and developing friendships, health and well-being.”
Councillor Catherine Seymour said:
" There is much excitement that this fantastic and much anticipated facility has now come life, and we can see what a top-notch sport and leisure centre environment will provide for Berwick and its surrounding communities.
It will most definitely attract visitors into the town from wider Northumberland, the Borders, South Scotland and beyond which will help to boost the local economy.”
In the pool hall there is a five-lane, 25m swimming pool, a learner pool with an adjustable floor and a leisure area which includes race slides and aqua play. For those wanting a bit of rest and relaxation there is a new spa facility which includes a sauna, steam room, salt room, experience showers and spa pool.
There is also a brand-new state of the art gym and fitness area and three fitness studios. One of the studios will be used as a dedicated spinning studio with Technogym bikes while the other two will be used for fitness classes, yoga and Pilates.
There is also a café selling delicious food, a children’s soft play area, an indoor bowling green and a sensory room.
The second phase of the work to the centre will see the creation of a new four court sports hall and car parking area and this is expected to be complete by summer 2022. During the construction of phase 2 customers will still be able to access the current sports hall.