Sports and leisure centres will reopen this weekend with significant health and safety measures in place.

Active Northumberland, the charitable trust which manages facilities on behalf of the county council, has announced that it will be reopening nine key centres on Saturday, July 25, as part of a phased reopening of services.

However, to enable social distancing, the centres will initially be restricted to members only, as a limited number of people will be permitted into each exercise class, gym session and pool.

In Tynedale, the centres due to reopen on July 25 will be Hexham's Wentworth Leisure Centre, Prudhoe's Waterworld and Ponteland Leisure Centre.

New stringent cleaning measures have been introduced, which include a 30-minute closure of all activities after each session to enable the thorough cleaning of equipment.

Haltwhistle Leisure Centre said its fitness suite, studio and sports facilities will reopen on Monday, July 27, but said the pool will remain closed.

At Prudhoe Waterworld, the pools are undergoing the final stages of maintenance work and will reopen on Saturday, August 1.

Coun. Cath Homer, the cabinet member for leisure, hopes the health and safety measures in place will see customers return to their fitness regimes and leisure centres throughout the district.

Members will also be required to pre-book all activities online through the Active Northumberland website or app to secure their place and ensure numbers are limited.

There will also be anti-bacterial wipes available in the gyms for members to wipe down their equipment and hand-sanitiser points throughout the centres.

On-site cafes remain closed, while the GP referral classes for residents with underlying health issues will continue to be suspended.

Active Northumberland's acting chief executive, Mark Warnes, said: “We have been following government guidance and have taken industry advice from Swim England, UK Active and Public Health England and believe we have a really robust system in place which I hope our customers will find reassuring.

“We have introduced some significant changes to the way we operate which we will be communicating to our members directl."