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Consultation outcomes on Chester-le-Street Leisure Centre facilities

Leisure transformation proposals at Chester-le-Street Leisure Centre.


See our Leisure transformation consultation page for information about the leisure transformation project.

Our new leisure centre proposals form part of the overall leisure transformation proposals for the town. The new leisure centre will provide the indoor activities which will work alongside the  proposed plans at the Riverside for the development of outdoor facilities and services.

What we are proposing

We are proposing to replace the current building with new facilities at the former civic centre site in Chester-le-Street that will improve sport, wellbeing and physical activities. They will be more accessible and inclusive, and create spaces to support you to live healthy, long, and independent lives.

Proposals at a glance

  • two pools
  • fitness suite with a range of equipment
  • group exercise studios
  • wellbeing suites
  • squash courts
  • library (re-located into leisure centre)
  • café and children's soft play
  • outdoor space and outdoor play

Proposals in more detail

Swimming pools and changing areas

There will be two new pools, one 25 metres, six lane pool and a second smaller teaching pool 20 metres long with four lanes.

Both pools will be at a level access from the changing rooms and benefit from easy access step, pool pod access platform and an access hoist. The pools will both include moveable floors to support a wide and varied programme and the latest in pool water filtration to ensure clean and fresh pool water conditions.

The changing facilities will include changing cubicles, as well as larger spaces for group and family changing. Lockers will be available, again with a suitable number to support larger groups and families. Space will be allocated for wheelchair storage and buggy parking. The changing rooms will benefit from two accessible shower rooms and a Changing Places facility which will serve both the public and wet changing areas.

Fitness suite and group exercise

The new fitness suites will be modern and well-equipped spaces, including a full range of new equipment and the ability to access online internet services.

Wellbeing suites

These will be friendly social spaces, aimed at improving overall physical and mental wellbeing. This will be achieved through the use of assisted exercise equipment. These spaces will be the perfect place to improve health, improve mobility, promote a healthy lifestyle, meet like-minded people, and make new friends.

The wellbeing suites will be open to everyone, but will be most beneficial to those who are living with long term health conditions, are recovering from or who have recovered from health problems, those suffering with general or sports specific injuries and those who are not used to regular exercise or who are looking to return to physical activity.

Children's soft play

One of the five big issues identified by Sport England: Uniting the Movement Strategy is the provision of positive experiences for children and young people and embedding physical activity through fun from an early age. We are planning to introduce a new adventure soft play which will help us to support young people to be more active. The range of play equipment will be designed to help develop physical literacy, confidence, and social skills.

Food and drink

We are also proposing to add a healthy food and drinks offer. This will help to support and maintain the sustainability of the centre, but it will also add to the overall visitor experience and provide a much-needed opportunity to create social spaces. These will be key for the community in recovering from the pandemic and will help support our ongoing work to improve wellbeing through social interactions.

Library and community

The plans include the proposal to move the library at Chester-le-Street into the new leisure centre. This development will bring cultural and leisure services together in one place to the benefit of the community. 

The new library area will include community spaces which can be used to support the widest possible range of cultural activities for all ages, with a modern new look.   

Outdoor space and outdoor play

The proposals for this site includes making the most of outdoor space, this will include safe and pleasant access routes, green space, and provision of outdoor play equipment. We would like your ideas on what activities you would like to see this area used for.

Squash courts

The proposal is to include a double squash court with moveable wall to ensure the space can be used as flexibly as possible, for squash and other activities.


The facilities are being designed to consider the highest possible accessibility standards. Key facilities are being included such as accessible showering and toilets, a Changing Places facility, accessible parking bays near to the entrance and general measures throughout the site to ensure that everyone can use and access the facilities.

External areas

Plans will include external areas that will be welcoming, safe, and well-lit with clearly signed routes from key locations such as car park to the main entrance. The proposals include green space and open areas and the ability to link the indoor environment with the outdoors, such as linking the café areas with outdoor spaces.


We are constructing the new facilities to BREEAM Very Good standard and aiming to build low energy, high efficiency buildings which enable a path to net zero emissions. Systems will be used to decarbonise the buildings with low and zero carbon technologies, such as solar panels and heating and hot water provided by electrical heat pumps, ensuring minimal heat loss through intelligent fabric first design principles.

Alongside the buildings, the proposals will support sustainable leisure services with electrical vehicle charging points in car parks, measures to encourage active and sustainable methods of transport, including the provision of safe cycle storage and considering travel planning and public transport.

The site will be designed to focus on active travel but will still have sufficient car parking for customers arriving by car.


We will be reviewing our activities to include  existing, new and varied ones to create more opportunity for physical activity, family time, and health and wellbeing. 

Floor plan

See the Icon for pdf Chester-le-Street leisure centre floor plan (PDF, 1.2mb)  for where this work will happen.

Have your say

The closing date for comments was 5.00pm on 26 August 2022.

What happens next

Thank you for your feedback, all comments have been taken into account and will be factored into the design development. Revised plans reflecting how consultation outcomes have been factored into the plans will be shared when complete.

Contact us
Customer Services
03000 26 0000