Ambitious plans for a major £500,000 redevelopment of Druridge Bay Community Centre have been given the go-ahead.
The Hadston-based scheme was approved recently by Northumberland County Council, Coun Scott Dickinson told members of East Chevington Parish Council last Monday.
The development will include a two-storey extension of the community centre to provide a fitness suite on the ground floor and a new space and ring upstairs for the boxing club.
The new gym will be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art fitness equipment and an instructor will be employed to provide advice and guidance on health and fitness training programmes.
The aim of extending, refurbishing and reconfiguring the centre is to breathe new life into the complex and provide much-needed social and leisure activities for local residents of all ages and the wider Druridge Bay community.
The project is being funded by Northumberland County Council’s capital programme and work is set to start on the site next month.
If all goes according to plan, the new-look centre could be open by December.
An information event was held earlier this year and Coun Dickinson said at the time that the feedback from those who attended had been good.
Speaking after the recent parish council meeting, he said that he was delighted the scheme had been given the go-ahead and spoke about the benefits it will have for the community.
He said: “I am over the moon that this has been approved.
“We spent a lot of time working with the community to do the plan. It is good news for Hadston and the surrounding areas.
“It has health and well-being benefits by being able to access facilities like that on a local level and it brings sustainability to a centre that had been under threat from a previous council administration.”
Also during the meeting, the councillors stressed the need for affordable homes to be included in a proposed housing development and raised concerns about access.
An outline bid to demolish factory buildings and build 18 houses at Nordstrom House, North Broomhill, has been submitted to the county council by Jane Nolan.
Coun Ann Elliott said: “The entrance is quite narrow and they have to make sure that they can get things like fire engines in and out.”