The green light has been given to establish a fresh wellbeing and community hub in Bishop Auckland.

This initiative will merge leisure activities with library services, all housed conveniently in one space.

The planning committee of Durham County Council has officially sanctioned the proposal to construct a brand-new leisure centre, situated next to the existing Woodhouse Close Leisure Complex.

The new building will include two new swimming pools, a sauna and steam room, and a modern gym with the latest equipment and technology. 

A Move Hub will feature power-assisted equipment for people who need support to improve strength and mobility, including those recovering from health conditions.

It will also feature a soft play centre for children, a café, and a new library, replacing the current Woodhouse Close Library.

By bringing together these services in a single, modern site, it is hoped that the new centre will also help support the ongoing regeneration of Bishop Auckland.

Cllr James Rowlandson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for resources, investment, and assets, said: “We are delighted that plans for the new leisure centre in Bishop Auckland have been approved. The current building has been enjoyed for over 50 years but has now become outdated. 

“We remain committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our residents through the delivery of leisure services and our plans are to create a new, modern facility which will support the health and wellbeing of our communities. 

“The new venue has been designed to embrace the council’s key priorities such as accessibility and inclusivity, modern digital technologies, and innovations and low and zero carbon solutions. This is to ensure the new centre is as efficient and sustainable as possible, as well as supporting our net zero targets.”

It is expected that the main building works will start in the spring 2024. Works at the site will be carefully planned to minimise disruption as much as possible and customers will be kept updated throughout. 

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