Plans to build new £22m leisure centre in Newcastle approved by council

14.08.22 West Denton leisure centre 6 newcastle city council
Artist impression of what the pool will look like. Credit: Newcastle City Council

Plans to build a new £22m leisure centre in Newcastle have been approved by councillors.

They would see the creation of a 'state-of-the-art' complex in West Denton, boasting swimming pools, a library, and other sports and exercise facilities.

The development will be largely funded by a £19.8m grant from the Government's Levelling Up Fund, and will act as a replacement for the closed West Denton Pool, which was shut by operator GLL more than two years ago.

The current West Denton library and customer service centre will also be demolished to make way for the huge new facilities, which are scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2024.

Members of Newcastle City Council's planning committee unanimously approved the scheme on Friday morning, with the centre set to become the first council-owned facility of its kind to be built in the city since 2000.

How the new West Denton leisure centre could look.

Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell said: "I am delighted with today's decision. The Outer West of Newcastle is now one step closer to having the state of the art leisure centre it deserves, and which I was proud to secure investment for."

She added: "I know how delighted residents are with this investment in the local community and how eager they are to see it delivered. I will continue to champion this transformational project as I have from the very beginning."

The new complex in West Denton Way will include a 25m swimming pool with eight lanes, a 17m training pool, an aqua play pool, a sports hall, a fitness studio and gym, a library, community spaces, a soft play area, and a cafe.

There have been serious concerns for months about whether there will be enough time to demolish the area's existing leisure centre and build the replacement in time to meet a tight funding deadline - and what the consequences could be if the project falls behind schedule.

The Government has said that cash from the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, announced last year, should be spent by March 2024, or into the following financial year for larger projects deemed exceptional.

Coun Lesley Storey, the council's cabinet member responsible for leisure, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the new West Denton leisure centre and swimming pool has been granted planning permission.

"It will offer residents excellent health, community and leisure facilities and become a showcase building for the city with its eight-lane pool, sports hall and library among other things.

"We have actively encouraged local people to have their say on what they would like to see in the leisure centre, and we now have a proposed building that will cater for people of all interests, ages, and backgrounds.

"I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation and look forward to the building opening in 2024."