December 17, 2019 @ 15:34 by Richard Dawson
Work is officially underway on a brand new £20 million leisure centre in Berwick after a turf cutting ceremony took place this week.
When complete, the state-of-the-art centre is set to transform the leisure provision in the North East town by providing a range of sports and wellbeing facilities.
These facilities will include a five-lane, 25m swimming pool, a teaching pool and leisure pool, and spa facilities, as well as a sports hall, indoor bowls, fitness studios, café, and a sensory room.
There will also be outdoor additions, with a 3G full-size playing pitch, play park and trim trail, and parking for 175 cars.
The development is situated on the current Swan Centre site in Tweedmouth and is being funded by Northumberland County Council.
Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer said: “This significant investment will create outstanding new facilities for the town and surrounding communities and there is a real sense of anticipation as we mark the start of this work today.
“The current Swan Centre has millions of pounds’ worth of backlog maintenance issues and is no longer fit for its intended purpose.
“The landmark new centre will be a focal point not just for local residents but for visitors from further afield and will add to the area’s ever-growing tourism offer.”
Tolent Construction Limited has been appointed as the contractor for the project, which will be built in stages to ensure the current centre can continue to function.
Phase 1 will see the construction of the new swimming pool and fitness suite by March 2021, while the entire centre is expected to be fully operational by the summer of 2022.
David Thompson, regional director for Tolent, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to such a significant project for Berwick and the wider area.
“This project will not only deliver outstanding leisure and sports facilities, but the unique design of the building will be sure to bring interest from far and wide.”