New leisure hub of­fi­cially opened

The Chronicle - - News -

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

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