More modern, vibrant and innovative leisure services are promised for County Durham as part of £63m plans approved by councillors on Wednesday.
Members of Durham County Council’s cabinet have given the green light to proposals which have been developed to ensure the authority’s leisure services meet the changing needs of residents and visitors.
As well as replacing outdated facilities in Seaham, Chester-le-Street and Bishop Auckland with new purpose-built centres, the £62.8m plans include refurbishing and refreshing other centres – including Newton Aycliffe – and introducing a new programme of classes and activities which reflects changing trends.
This could include adventure play and climb, health spas, ten pin bowling and toning suites.
Cllr Carl Marshall, cabinet member for the local authority, said: “We have already been very successful in introducing pioneering new ways to get active at our leisure centres, including pool-based activities such as aqua cycle and aqua pole sessions, which have proven very popular.
“It’s important that we build on this by continuing to follow changing tastes and trends in the fitness industry if we are to increase participation in physical activity in the county and provide people with the type of services they want.
“In some areas this means looking at what our centres currently offer and updating it or even refurbishing areas and introducing new equipment. However, in Seaham, Bishop Auckland and Chester-le-Street, the centres would require significant work so the most viable option is to look at building a new centre.
“I am, therefore, particularly pleased that we are able to commit such a significant sum to make this happen as part of a project that is going to see the transformation of our leisure centres over the coming years.”
Before finalising any plans for its centres, the council will work with residents and leisure centre users to decide how services should look.