Hebburn Central gym, pool and other leisure facilities to temporarily close as work continues on energy scheme
Swimmers, gym-goers and other fitness fans will have to work out elsewhere as a leisure centre temporarily closes to allow for the development of a new renewable energy scheme.
Hebburn Central, in Glen Street, will be closed from Thursday, December 8, and is expected to reopen at 12noon the following day on Friday, December 9.
South Tyneside Council said the closure will support the ongoing development of the new energy centre for the Hebburn Renewable Energy Network.
Hebburn Central is one of the buildings that will be served by the new heating system which council chiefs say, once in operation, is estimated to make carbon savings of approximately 319 tonnes a year.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy, said: “Work is progressing well on Hebburn’s new energy centre, which will provide low carbon heat to residents and council buildings using air source heat pumps.
“In order to provide the connection to the energy centre, we need to close Hebburn Central for a short period. However, leisure members will still be able to make use of other Council leisure centres during the closure period.
“The work will help to make Hebburn Central more energy efficient in future and heated through more sustainable and innovative means.
“The pioneering Hebburn renewable energy scheme is just one of the ways the Council is working to deliver on its ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”
During the shutdown period, Northern Powergrid contractors will be carrying out mechanical works to upgrade and install new pumps.
And a new connection to the electric mains will be made to provide a low voltage cable supplying the energy centre.
The council said Northern Powergrid will also take the opportunity to tap into the leisure centre’s heating system for future connection to the energy centre, avoiding the need for a further shutdown for the heating works.
Building of the energy centre is already well underway, with groundworks being constructed and the steel frame being fabricated on site.
Work to lay the concrete foundations and ground floor slab will be starting imminently.
Electricity generated locally using solar panels and a Combined Heat and Power Unit will be used to help power the system.
The original vision was to draw geothermal energy from abandoned flooded mine workings, but the council revealed in October 2022 that difficulties meant it cannot progress in its current form.
Project bosses have said the scheme must change direction due to stability issues with one of the boreholes, meaning water cannot be extracted and returned to the mine workings as intended.
However, South Tyneside Council officials have confirmed the carbon-cutting scheme will still go ahead, albeit in a different form.
More details of the Hebburn renewable energy centre is available at https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/1533/Renewable-energy-projects
For further information about the range of services and facilities available at South Tyneside leisure centres visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/leisure