Council bosses are praising the success of a controversial leisure centre in South Tyneside after it attracted more than 220,000 users in its first year.
The £13million Hebburn Central opened its doors in June, last year, and since then, council chiefs say it has become an integral part of the local community.
The centre, in the town’s Glen Street, which includes a gym, swimming pool, and library, has attracted more than 221,000 leisure admissions and 2,367 members.
Book loans have also increased by 31% compared to the same period in Hebburn Library, with the number of new lenders more than doubling. There has also been a 369% increase in people using public computers.
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “Hebburn Central is not only a first-class leisure facility but an important community and social venue which is having a real impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. It has been very well received by local people and has exceeded all expectations in terms of footfall and membership.
“It has become a popular and vibrant attraction, drawing a customer base not only from South Tyneside but from neighbouring towns and cities.”
Coun Kerr will present a report on the building, which has won a string of awards, to a meeting of the full council on Thursday, July 28.