New look for gym

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A COMMUNITY gym has built up 170 new members after undergoing a revamp.

The new facility at the Robin Todd centre in South Hetton is double the size of the previous sports hall and has a range of specialist equipment.

The gym, set up in the former colliery building, is now used by more than 100 people every week.

It has full access for wheelchair users and also includes a sensory wall and rehabilitation area for individuals with neurological disabilities such as autism and dyspraxia, helping to improve coordination, concentration and spatial awareness.

The purpose-built £214,000 gym, opened last June and run by the South Hetton and District Community Association, has been funded by Durham County Council, South Hetton Parish Council, the County Durham Community Foundation, East Durham Leader and Ballinger Charitable Trust.

The original sports hall had high ceilings and was very difficult and costly to heat.

At peak times, a shortage of equipment led to people having to queue to take their turn.

Julie Anson, community economic development team leader, Durham County Council, said: “This is an excellent example of how partnership working can deliver a first class project. The gym is proving to be an excellent community asset.”