Work on the long-awaited Ingleby Barwick leisure centre is under way at last.

And if all goes to plan, the centre – to be built on at All Saints Academy site – will open in summer 2020.

It’s been a frustrating wait for work to start on the scheme, which will include swimming pools, a health and fitness suite, gym and a library.

But after what Stockton Council is calling a “longer than anticipated wait for Secretary of State approval,” contractor Willmott Dixon is now on site, starting work on the construction of the new All Saints Academy car park.

This will then pave the way for the leisure centre to be built on the existing Academy car park.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Stockton Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: “Having been held up by a frustrating delay in receiving Secretary of State consent to start work, we’re delighted that Willmott Dixon is now on site and that work is under way.

“We can’t wait to see this project brought to life because we know how much the local community are looking forward to having these top-class leisure facilities and new library on their doorstep.”

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Nick Corrigan, director for Willmott Dixon in the North-east, said: “It’s great to be on site to start work on this much needed new leisure facility at Ingleby Barwick .

“As one of the UK’s largest constructors of leisure centres, we’ll be bringing all our experience to ensure this is a fantastic facility for local residents, as well as ensuring that we use local companies wherever possible to help support jobs in Ingleby Barwick.”

The building will be operated by Tees Active Leisure, which already operates three centres in the area on behalf of Stockton Council.

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