Leisure and schools hub is one of the region's biggest investments in the future of learning

Willmott Dixon’s North East expansion continues after it was named preferred bidder for the £46 million landmark project to create a combined schools and leisure campus in Ponteland, north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The project for Northumberland County Council will see the existing Ponteland Leisure Centre demolished and replaced by a much improved facility integrated with a secondary and primary school providing 2,040 places.

The campus, designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, will be home to a 1,600 place secondary school and 6th form, created alongside a 420 place primary school and nursery.

CGI of the integrated leisure and school campus

The adjoining leisure facility will provide a 25m six lane swimming pool, learner pool and children’s wet play area, a clip and climb and soft play area, fitness suite, studios, sports hall, badminton courts, outdoor sports fields, as well as two full size 3G pitches and a library.

Fly-through of the new development

The development will not only create school places but also benefit the local community as externally a mix of community and school-use facilities will be created for rugby, cricket, football and athletics.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract for Northumberland County Council. We have developed a proposal based on the needs of the community and providing a range of facilities which will not only benefit the pupils from the schools but also local people for years to come.”

Paul Richardson, partner of FaulknerBrowns Architects:

“This type of integrated facility is unique in the region and will offer outstanding learning, leisure and sporting opportunities for the whole community. Our work extends internationally, so it’s great to have the opportunity to apply our experience to this type of project in our native North East.”

Willmott Dixon has a growing presence from its Newcastle office. Its projects in the North East include a new HQ in Newcastle for Northumbria Police Authority, transforming Darlington Civic Theatre into one of the North East’s most popular entertainment venues, upgrading East Durham College’s Houghall Campus into a world class learning environment for equine and outdoor pursuits and the 2016 RIBA national award winningHebburn Central community hub.

It is also behind the TRW Systems factory in Sunderland and the UTC South Durham.