The new look Newbiggin sports and community hub opened to the public today (7 September) following a major refurbishment project.
Situated on Woodhorn Road, the £1.9m county council funded scheme has seen the centre refurbished and remodelled to provide a new and improved sporting offer and a community hub.
A new, modern and welcoming reception area, a library area with public access PCs, and the creation of a community café and hub has provided a welcoming social space for local people. Here they can access a range of services, support and events, with opportunities to learn new skills, seek help finding employment and receive health checks and advice.
There is also a large function room for events, and plans are being finalised to introduce a teaching and learning café and bar.
On the sporting side - the ground floor gym area has been reconfigured to provide a dedicated cycling/spinning studio while the first floor has been converted into a new gym area with weights and state-of-the-art cardio equipment.
In addition, the three squash courts and viewing gallery have been refurbished and the six-court sports hall upgraded.
There are new and improved changing facilities for sport and community use, including changing places that are designed to be fully accessible for those with additional needs.
Outside there will be a community garden and a new football pitch is being laid.
Northumberland County Councillor Jeff Watson, cabinet member for healthy lives said:
“I am so pleased the day has come where we can open to the local community. I really do think this will be a tremendous asset for Newbiggin – somewhere for people to meet, socialise, receive support or keep active. “
Local ward member Councillor Liz Simpson added:
” It feels like a completely new centre. It’s fresh, modern and much improved. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I have spoken to residents who have seen the centre and there is a real buzz of excitement. I think it will become the heart of our community and I am very proud of what we have achieved.”
Councillor Wendy Pattison, cabinet member with responsibility for Northumberland Communities Together said:
“There is a real sense of community spirit in the centre. The new community hub will offer something for everyone, with a real focus on support and developing skills, friendships, health and well-being. It’s going to be a great community venue for the town and the surrounding area.
Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland which manages the centre said:
“The centre is looking fantastic. It’s got a state-of-the art gym and cycling studio, squash courts, new changing facilities and a large sports hall that can be used for a whole range of sporting activities.
“Whatever your age or your fitness level, our friendly team will be able to help and support customers and new members to achieve their own personal fitness and wellness goals.”
Architect Howarth Litchfield was responsible for architecture and interior design while Brims Construction (Brims) was the appointed building contractor. Advance Northumberland were the project managers.