Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell has again urged Ministers to back Newcastle City Council’s Levelling Up Fund bid to develop a £22mllion state of the art, net-zero carbon Outer West Leisure Centre. The new centre would include a swimming pool, sports hall and gym, as well as a café, library and community space.
Speaking during a debate on ‘Levelling Up’, Catherine highlighted that “The Government tells us one of its key priorities as we emerge hopefully from the pandemic is that we emerge as a healthier country” and that “must mean tackling health inequalities – one of the most glaring indicators of inequality between cities and within regions.
“But I worry that over the last 18 months we have seen a pattern whereby health and leisure facilities in areas with the biggest pre-existing health inequalities have been at the greatest risk of closure.
Highlighting the case of West Denton Pool, Catherine commented that “the neighbourhood where that pool is located is already in the top 10% in the country for health deprivation challenges, and much of the surrounding area has similar issues” and that “its closure will only lead to worsening long-term health outcomes for the communities I represent.”
The Newcastle North MP concluded stating Ministers “could make a great start by backing Newcastle City Council’s bid the fund to develop a new, state-of-the-art, net zero carbon swimming and leisure development in the Outer West of Newcastle.
“We know the Chancellor is himself a keen swimmer, having recently decided to add a 12-metre pool to his own Grade II listed
North Yorkshire manor, so I hope when the Government comes to consider bids to the levelling up fund, Ministers will agree that Newcastle North constituents in the Outer West should have access to a pool too.”
Further details on Catherine’s campaign to secure swimming provision and in support of the Outer West Leisure Centre Levelling Up bid can be found: