Hundreds of residents have visited Berwick’s fantastic new sports and leisure centre as the doors opened to the public for the first time yesterday.
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.
The centre is being built in phases and it is the biggest phase - phase 1 that has opened to the public.
The centre has been buzzing with activity as fitness classes got into full swing, the swimming pool was in action and the state-of-the-art gym 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 there are a range of great membership options – many for as little as 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.
The new centre has been designed by GT3 Architect, and Tolent Construction Ltd was the official contractor. Advance Northumberland has overseen the project management.
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.
“ 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.”
“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.”
Local ward councillor 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 Tolent and GT3 Architects for delivering a fabulous facility despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.”
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.”
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 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 meeting spaces.
The second phase of the work to the centre will see the creation of a new four court sports hall is expected to be complete by September 2022. During the construction of phase 2 customers will still be able to access the current sports hall. The full project will be completed by March 2023.