New leisure centre for Morpeth announced
30 Nov 2016
A brand new leisure centre is to be built in the heart of Morpeth, county council chiefs revealed
The state-of-the-art complex would also house a new town library and council customer services centre - with a high-quality hotel and restaurant completing the prestige riverside site.
Council leader Grant Davey said: “It's yet more fantastic news for Morpeth. The administration is very sympathetic to residents' calls for far better leisure facilities and for some time now we have been quietly searching for the best possible solution.
"So I'm delighted to invite the people of Morpeth to work with their county council in identifying exactly what type of leisure provisions they would like included. The council cabinet will be hearing more details next week [Tues Dec 6].
"This development will give even more reasons for people to enjoy the vibrant shopping, leisure and cultural attractions of this historic market town."
The announcement of plans for the Gas House Lane site comes days after Cllr Davey revealed [Mon Nov 28] that Morpeth is one of four Northumberland towns earmarked for new multi-storey car parks to make shopping and business even easier for the growing numbers of locals and visitors - the others are Hexham, Ashington and Cramlington.
It also follows the recent unveiling of a new larger Morpeth First School, plus plans for dining, retail and housing developments, on the site of the rundown County Hall in the town. Millions of pounds raised from selling the surplus land ahead of the council moving to a smaller HQ in Ashington are being ploughed back in to much-needed regeneration projects all over Northumberland, such as this new leisure centre, the car parks plus state of the art high schools.
Cllr Davey added: "This administration is committed to reinvigorating all the market towns across Northumberland, via sound investments and creative use of restricted finances.
“While we have tested the commercial market on options for the Gas House Lane site over recent months and received a number of potential bids, we were determined to pursue proposals which were in the best long-term interests of not just Morpeth but of all Northumberland's residents - not necessarily plans which might have offered the most money immediately.
“If cabinet backs the Morpeth leisure centre idea, the next stage is to invite residents to have their say.”
A full business case would be developed for the substantial development once feasibility work had been completed.
A consultation event about the new leisure centre and community hub will be held at the current Morpeth Leisure Centre on Tuesday 20th December from 3pm to 7pm.
You can find out more and complete a survey online here.