Durham leisure centre to be bulldozed

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AN axed leisure centre is due to be demolished.

 Work to knock down Aykley Heads Sports Centre, in Durham City, will begin on Monday.

 The Durham Police-run leisure centre closed earlier this year as the cash-strapped force tried to deal with spending cutbacks.

 Demolition will start after a successful application to Natural England and the securing of planning approval.

 The first phase will involve stripping out the asbestos from the building, with demolition due to follow in mid-October.

 It is expected that the building, which was subsidised by the force, will be fully demolished in early November.

 O’Brien Demolition Ltd has been awarded the contract to knock down the centre, which opened more than 30 years ago to recuperate injured officers.

 It once had 1,100 members, a 25m swimming pool, two squash courts and gym and hosted swimming lessons for a number of state and private schools.

 Durham Police said the work will not affect the annual Bonfire Night event.