hebburn central largeAward-winning Hebburn Central is celebrating its first birthday this week…and a host of successes.

The £13m facility was opened a year ago by the former mayor, Councillor Richard Porthouse and Paralympic gold medal-winning swimmer Josef Craig (MBE). Since its opening, the state-of- the-art centre has become an integral part of the local community.

The venue has already won three awards and been shortlisted for a fourth.

Hebburn Central includes a six-lane swimming pool, a learner pool with bubble pools, sauna and steam room, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area, library, learning centre and cafe, as well as meeting rooms, a customer service centre, local police help point and an outdoor multi-use games area.

Since opening there have been over 221,000 leisure admissions and 2,232 new leisure memberships. Book loans have increased by 31 per cent compared to the same period in the old building, the number of new library lenders has more than doubled and there has been a staggering 369 per cent increase in people logging on to the public computers.

Councillor Richard Porthouse, Chair of the Hebburn Community Area Forum (CAF), said: “We built this fantastic building because we wanted to give the people of Hebburn facilities fit for the 21st century and provide a focal point for the whole community. “It has achieved all that and more and we are delighted with its success to date.”