New leisure hub officially opened
A SOUTH Tyneside leisure and community facility has welcomed its first customers following a £3 million refurbishment.
The former Jarrow Community Centre building in Cambrian Street has been transformed into the state-of-the-art Jarrow Focus, featuring a redesigned gym, sports hall, dance studios, theatre space as well as a new library. A new entrance and external facade has also been created.
And on hand to cut the ribbon to officially open the new Jarrow Focus was the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, with a new commemorative plaque also unveiled to mark the transformation of the former community centre.
Coun Stephenson, who was joined by the Mayoress, Cathy Stephenson, said: “It was a real honour to open this superb new building in the heart of Jarrow town centre and it is a very proud and exciting day for all those involved in the project.
“It really does look fabulous. With its first-class facilities and services brought together under one roof, Jarrow Focus is a multipurpose building that will serve to enhance the health and wellbeing of local people. I would encourage residents to take a look at this wonderful new centre for themselves and be among the first to try out the facilities available.”
The redesigned 80-station gym boasts the unique two-storey fitness rig ‘The Clock,’ the first of its kind in the UK and ideal for group workouts. There will also be virtual fitness classes incorporating large screen technology and motivational music, as well as instructorled classes.
The revitalised theatre space, home to Jarrow Musical Theatre Company, features a striking new auditorium complete with new lighting and sound systems, fullyrefurbished back stage areas and dressing rooms as well as retractable tiered seating for around 170 spectators, with additional floor space bringing audience capacity up to 300.
The library meanwhile features a designated area for teenagers, including a gaming zone, and provides space for young children with books and activities aimed at encouraging early reading and learning. The lounge area and theatre space will also play host to author talks and community group activities, plus there are 12 computers available to the public as part of the People’s Network.
Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, cuts the ribbon to officially open Jarrow Focus along with the Mayoress, Cathy Stephenson