New leisure centre for Seaham among £63m plans to invest in County Durham facilities

Jan 8, 2020 | Local News

Three new state-of-the-art leisure centres could be built under plans to invest almost £63 million in leisure services across County Durham.

Durham County Council is proposing to transform leisure provision across the county with plans to create more modern, innovative services which better meet the needs of residents and vistors.

It is hoped the plans will also encourage more people to participate in physical activity, thereby improving the overall health and wellbeing of the population.

As well as replacing outdated facilities in Seaham, Chester-le-Street and Bishop Auckland with new, purpose-built centres, the plans also include work to refurbish and refresh other centres and introduce an innovative programme of new classes and activities.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Our proposed programme of transformation represents a massive investment in leisure over the coming years and reflects our desire to be at the forefront of changing trends in leisure provision.

“Reviewing our current offer has shown that there are significant opportunities for us to increase participation in physical activity by providing a more vibrant, cost-effective service that better meets customers’ expectations.

“We’re confident that our planned programme of investment will reinvigorate leisure services across the county and secure their place at the heart of our communities for many years to come.”

The proposals would see the council investing £62.8 million in transforming services across all 15 of the county’s leisure centres.

This would include:

  • Consett; Newton Aycliffe; Wolsingham; and Teesdale – introduction of new activities and a refreshed look.
  • Abbey and Freeman’s Quay, Durham; Louisa Centre, Stanley; Peterlee; and Spennymoor – refurbishment work and the installation of new equipment.
  • Woodhouse Close; Chester-le-Street and Seaham – replacement of existing, outdated leisure centres with new purpose-built facilities. Feasibility studies would be carried out before any decisions were made on the design and location of any new buildings.
  • Meadowfield and Shildon – retain facilities and create greater links with other services within the local community.
  • Riverside – in partnership with Durham County Football Association, Durham County Cricket Club, Park View Academy and the Football Foundation, develop the site and increase coaching opportunities.

The proposals will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet when it meets at County Hall on Wednesday, 15 January.