A Tyne Valley leisure complex has turned to crowdfunding in an attempt to get its swimming pools ready for the 2021 season.

Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre, which is registered a charity and relies solely on grants and donations to keep operating, saw its three pools closed throughout last year due to the restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic.

With government guidelines expected to remain in place this summer in some form, the centre is expecting another unusual period of trade, although does hope to open all of its facilities to the public.

As a result, the pool has set a £3,000 target via crowdfunding that will go towards maintaining the pools, leisure centre and gym and ensure that it can re-open following the end of the current lockdown, even if it’s at a reduced capacity and with social distancing measures in place.

“We really want to re-open the swimming pools this year to support the community in the recovery from this awful pandemic,” said the centre’s manager Maxine Wilson.

“Getting everyone back to having fun and enjoying exercise is important to their physical and mental health and we can’t wait to open the doors and welcome our customers back.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received so far and hope to reach our target.”

The swimming pools in Haltwhistle are one of the town’s most visited attractions and have long been a favourite among families and friends a like.

After opening in 1975, the town’s three outdoor heated pools, water flume and outdoor park welcome thousands of visitors every summer .

Depending on the amount donated, the centre will also offer several rewards in return, including an entry in to the centre’s opening day raffle with a donation of £10 or more and a free daytime exercise class for every £20 or more given.