Leisure centre's £2 million revamp and library relocation project set to be unveiled

Peterlee Leisure Centre will reopen to the public next week following a major improvement programme that has included the relocation of the town’s library.

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 10 May, 2019, 15:56
Inside Peterlee's new library space.

The £2 million scheme has seen the refurbishment of the pool changing rooms, a new-look reception space and the creation of the brand new library facility.

Significant improvements have also been carried out to the car park with the provision of 48 additional bays, including two disabled and six motorcycle bays as well as a cycle shelter.

Durham County Council workers Matthew Bewick, funding and commissioning officer from the Swim Local Pilot team, and Emma Wyndham, business development officer at Peterlee Leisure Centre as the revamp project comes to a close.

The refurbished centre, which is owned by Durham County Council and managed by 1Life, will reopen to the public on Monday.

It comes after the town's library was demolished as it was part of the former East Durham College site off Essington Way, which had become a target for arsonists and thieves due to the vacant section of the complex.

Councillor Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for transformation, said: “This major investment has not only enabled us to make significant improvements to leisurefacilities but it means we have also been able to relocate the library from its former site to within the leisure centre.

Bookworms will be welcome to browse the new library from Monday.

“As well as a range of new books, the new library is furnished with modern seating and shelving. It will also offer free wi-fi and computers with internet access.

“It’s a fantastic facility that will really benefit the whole community, and staff are very much looking forward to welcoming customers old and new.”

Designs for the project were presented at four consultation days held at the old Peterlee Library on Burnhope Way at the end of 2017.

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A new sauna cabin, which was requested during the consultation, will be installed in the coming weeks.

The new changing rooms inside Peterlee Leisure Centre.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “Visitors to the new-look Peterlee Leisure Centre will see a realdifference, with a more welcoming reception area and significantly improved changing facilities.

“I’m really impressed with the work that’s been carried out and I’m sure leisure centre users will feel the same.

"And, what’s more, the relocation of the town’s library means that they can also take advantage of the many services we offer through our libraries.”

To celebrate the centre’s reopening, it will host a Zoggs Oceans of Fun Day on Saturday, May 18, when youngsters will have the chance to meet Olympic and Commonwealthathletes.

Aimed at seven to 14-year-olds, the free event will see participants trying their hand at Olympic aquatic sports including water polo and synchronised and fast swimming.

Peterlee Leisure Centre was one of four facilities in County Durham involved in the national Swim Local Pilot.

Funding from Sport England was used to improve the overall pool programme, which included the introduction of new water based fitness classes, and to provide clearer information to customers about what pool activities are on offer.

Places can be booked for Zoggs Oceans of Fun Day at www.1life.co.uk/peterlee-leisure-centre/free-swimming-event/

For more information about Peterlee Leisure Centre and Library visit www.durham.gov.uk/peterleeleisure