Gateshead Leisure Centre to Reopen with Campaigners Help

Gateshead Active has received a £150,000 boost that means they have secured the funding needed to re-open the shuttered Gateshead Leisure Centre. The team will now work with Gateshead Council to agree a date. The funding comes from social investment organisation Keyfund and is made up of £115,400 in loan finance and £34,600 from a grant – which is the maximum grant available.

The cash will help with cashflow and for the hopeful new leisure centre operator Gateshead Active to bring in high-tech access systems and at-table ordering in the café.

The Newcastle Chronicle is reporting that the leisure centre was closed down last summer due to Gateshead Council budget cuts, despite a backlash from its surrounding Saltwell and Bensham community. A deal has been agreed in principle for the local authority to hand over the huge facility to the new organisation Gateshead Active.

It is hoped that the facility will re-open in the coming months. The funding boost comes following more good news last week, when the new operator resolved an issue around the alcohol license for the shuttered venue.

Gateshead Active plans to give the sport and fitness hub a sustainable future include using it to host boxing matches, live music and football fan zones in order to generate extra revenue, while the nearby Corporation Club is also planning to relocate into the leisure centre.

Gateshead Active director and former councillor Robert Waugh welcomed the funding boost, saying: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application to Keyfund. Keyfund are a nationally renowned social investor and to receive backing from them shows the trust and confidence in our plans going forward.

“We were also pleased that the social impact that the centre will give has been acknowledged by the maximum allowable grant element of this funding has been given, which reduces our repayments and offers us a much securer financial footing going forward.

“With this funding we are able to go-ahead with system installations to give the centre more modern access for members offering QR code entry systems direct from their phone, a ordering at table system for our cafe and ensure we have the financial stability to support our operation.”

Robert added that there would remain the option for people using facilities to use a physical membership card and pay at the desk. He added: “Having now secured the finances needed to reopen we will continue to work with the ocuncil on final details and to agree a date of handover.”

You might also like