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Project Value




Classrooms for Learning

Morpeth Sports and Leisure Centre

New model of leisure scheme, combining sport and leisure with community facilities in a high street setting

We have delivered a £21m sports and leisure Centre and community hub in Morpeth for Northumberland County Council.

This is a new model of leisure scheme for the UK, which combines sport and leisure with community facilities in a high street setting. Designed by GT3 Architects, it was funded by Northumberland County Council and delivered by Advance Northumberland – the development arm of the county council.

Located on Gas House Lane, at the edge of the town centre conservation area and sitting beside the River Wansbeck, the impactful facility acts as a bookend to the high street. It incorporates a new community services hub, which includes a double height community library, a customer service centre, plus a brand-new adult learning facility with classrooms for a number of courses including STEM learning and catering.

There is also a six-lane swimming pool with spectator gallery, flexible learner pool, spa facilities, a variety of fitness spaces, a multi-use sports hall and large studio space designed to hold community events and a café, with connections to a poetry garden and outdoor terraces that act as an important social space for families and tourists alike.

Nick Corrigan, North East director for Willmott Dixon, said:

“We are delighted to help deliver such an exciting and important facility, one that we think the people of Morpeth will be proud of, for generations to come.”
Morpeth Leisure Centre low 2.jpg
Northumberland County Councillor Jeff Watson, cabinet member for healthy lives said:
Now the build is complete we can all see what an impressive centre it is. The building contractors Willmott Dixon have had to contend with the Covid restrictions, severe storms and material supply issues – but their team have worked incredibly hard and pulled out all the stops to keep the build on-track.”
The new sports complex is operated by Active Northumberland, the charitable trust that manages leisure services across the county on behalf of Northumberland County Council.

Local ward and County Councillor David Bawn added:

"While the focus of the centre has been on sport and leisure – there will also be a whole floor dedicated to learning, delivered on behalf of the council by Northumberland Skills. From English, maths and digital qualifications to business, leadership and management courses, there are learning opportunities for everyone designed to support our local community to upskill, boost confidence and gain or progress in employment.”
Morpeth Leisure Centre low interior 3.jpg
It also features a library
Mark Warnes, Chief Executive of Active Northumberland said:
“Over the coming weeks we will be installing state of the art gym equipment, a softplay, our new Hive café offer, signage, and all the fixtures and fittings such as lockers for the changing rooms. We will also be carrying out an intensive staff training programme. We are working hard to ensure that all our customers have a seamless transition between the old Riverside Leisure Centre and the new centre and we will be keeping them fully informed of the transition arrangements once we have a firm opening date.”

Morpeth Leisure Centre low interior 4.jpg


  • Support the health and wellbeing of local residents with a range of facilities.
  • New community services hub.
  • New adult learning facility with classrooms for STEM learning and catering.




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