Leisure meets learning at Morpeth community hub

GT3 Architects has unveiled designs for a £21m Northumberland leisure centre and library, which aims to put inclusivity, community pride and connectivity at its heart.

The practice consulted key groups to reach a design solution that meets the needs of Morpeth residents. The key themes – connecting the high street, creating local pride for the centre and offering a diverse range of uses – were developed and incorporated into the design to create a hub where leisure meets learning.

The scheme combines leisure facilities with a comprehensive library and learning suite to suit Morpeth’s diverse community. 

The facility is set to include a new two-storey library, customer services and adult learning classrooms as well as a six-lane 25m swimming pool with spectator gallery, a learner pool, spa facilities, a four-court sports hall, a 100 station fitness suite, a dedicated spinning studio, a soft play area and a café that is open to the public. 

The scheme will provide 550sq m of library space, including a group room, poetry corner, and children’s library, as well as 450sq m of learning space with five flexible classrooms, offices, and tutorial spaces.

“Inclusivity is at the heart of this project and it was so important to us that the leisure centre’s new facilities were designed to be integrated and connected to the town centre,” said Paul Reed, associate director at GT3 Architects.

“During the workshops we discovered the importance of the three key themes of inclusivity, community pride and connectivity. The design therefore extends to the high street through a series of stepping-stones that figuratively and literally integrate and connect to the town centre ensuring inclusivity and accessibility. The town also has a strong identity, so we wanted to capture that pride and nod to the town’s ‘living amongst woods and streams’ motto.” 

The scheme is funded by Northumberland County Council.