The first phase of £3m project to transform Newcastle city centre’s leisure facilities opens to the public for the first time this week.
Social enterprise charity North Country Leisure took over the running of Eldon Leisure Centre, Gosforth Pool and Outer West Pool last July and immediately put plans to construct new zones to update the city centre facilities.
The Hexham-headquartered firm is investing vast sums at Eldon Leisure to create a family leisure and entertainment complex as well as improve existing fitness facilities, a move which will almost double staffing levels.
And the first phase of the multi-million pound project – the eight-lane bowling alley and gym – opens its doors on Monday.
Work has been carried out to convert the former bowling green area into the new fitness zone and bowling alley, by project managers Alliance Leisure and fit-out contractor WFC .
The existing gym has been be moved into this area, where more than £160,000 has been invested in new machinery and equipment, making way for a new spin cycle area called Cyclone.
Part of the current weights area will be turned into a party room, while half of the main sports hall will be transformed into the climbing area, called Vertigo, with 19 towers measuring 7.5-metres each.
The squash courts and a fitness studio will remain where they are, and a second studio will be opened on the second floor known as Wellbeing, to host yoga, pilates and other more relaxing classes.
Directors confirmed that new 28 roles will be created throughout the building, predominantly in the new facilities, more than doubling current staff levels to 50.
Two apprentices will be taken on, and significant numbers of casual staff to cover weekends and school holidays will be employed.
Eldon Bowl will be open seven days a week, offering 8 lanes of tenpin bowling, special offers for juniors, students, beActive Leisure Card holders, family and group bookings, with a fully licensed restaurant.
The new fitness gym will open for a members only preview on Monday and to the public from Tuesday.
Roger Tames, chair of the NCL Newcastle Board of volunteer trustees said “These are exciting times for Eldon Leisure.
“The centre was ahead of the game when it opened in the mid-seventies. Now these new developments will, once again, put Eldon right at the forefront of leisure facilities in the region.
“Anyone who has never ventured up our escalator before will be genuinely astonished to see what we have on offer now for all the family.”
The additional developments which are expected to open in mid-June will see the introduction of a new soft play facility and indoor climbing centre.
Building works to complete a soft play area and a climbing wall Climbing are under way and will offer additional new venues for parties, group bookings and family days out.