Jumping for joy: Work begins on new £11million Washington centre

An artist's impression of the new Washington Leisure Centre(2)
An artist's impression of the new Washington Leisure Centre(2)
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A BRAND new £11million leisure centre is due to open in Washington in 2015 – with work beginning in the new year.

The new complex will be built adjacent to the existing Washington Leisure Centre which will remain operational until the new one is complete.

Sunderland City Council’s Hetton, Houghton and Washington development control sub-committee has now approved plans so work by contractor Pellikaan Construction can begin.

As reported earlier this year, the investment was announced as part of the authority’s £60m capital programme.

The new development will consist of a 25m pool, a learner pool and two water slides, a sauna and steam room, as well as a four-court sports hall.

The trampoline club will be able to make use of the multi-purpose hall to continue to train at an international level.

Other facilities will include two glass-backed squash courts, a 100 station gym, spinning and exercise studios, and consultation rooms, while the little ones will have a soft play area on two levels.

Outside, there will be six small-sided 3G football pitches and a car park, which includes disabled spaces.

“Since 2004, £60m has been invested in new and improved sport and leisure provision across the city,” Coun John Kelly, the city’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said.

“Each of the five areas of the city – North, West, East, Coalfield and Washington – has a public access pool, wellness centre and sports hall as a minimum.

“Washington Leisure Centre is an ageing facility and this investment is designed to help secure new, high quality facilities for many years to come.”

“This will be a major improvement on what we have now, with two slides compared to the one there already, six 3G outdoor floodlit five-a-side football pitches, a bigger gym and a 100-space car park.

“The proposals also include a bigger soft play area across two levels and a multi-purpose hall that can accommodate trampolining training to an international standard.”

The old centre will be demolished once the new facility is open, allowing work to start on the car park and outdoor pitches.