SPORTS facilities in the district are set to receive a six-figure cash injection.

Northumberland County Council has unveiled plans for a £700,000 refurbishment project at Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre.

The scheme, which was agreed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, will include a new multi-functional gym, upgraded changing areas, and a newly designed reception area at the centre.

Coun. Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said the work would get under way in April, and would take around two months to complete.

She added: “We felt there was a clear need to invest in the centre to ensure it continued to thrive.

“One of the aims of the refurbishment is to make the gym area an inspirational space for all members of the community, from those just beginning their exercise journey through to performance athletes competing at the highest level.

“The investment will enhance the customer experience at the centre and is great news for the residents of Hexham, local schools and all those living in the surrounding communities who use the facilities.”

The council said the £698,591 of funding would enable Active Northumberland, the charitable trust which manages Wentworth, to develop a whole new visitor experience.

The new gym will incorporate a functional training and free weights area, an exercise biking area, and a group exercise training area.

In addition, cutting edge technology in the gym will enable users to link their mobile phones to machines, to track both indoor and outdoor fitness sessions.

There will also be state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, while the reception area at Wentworth will be given a facelift, to provide a fresh, modern environment. New features in the reception area will include interactive self-service pods, for those who wish to use them.

Active Northumberland’s chief executive Mark Tweedie said: “We know how important an active lifestyle is for maintaining good physical and mental health, so it is important our customers have great facilities to enjoy their physical activity.

“At Active Northumberland we are committed to reducing health inequalities and creating more opportunities for residents to be active and stay healthy.

“We are currently looking at the way we deliver our leisure services to ensure they are more inclusive and to encourage more people to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle.

“The revitalisation and refurbishment work at Wentworth is one of the first steps in this transformation journey.”

Wentworth, which boasts an all-weather athletics track, has long been at the heart of the district’s sports and fitness offering.