LEISURE centres will open their doors free of charge this weekend to encourage more people to exercise.

Durham County Council is offering access to gyms, swimming lessons and selected exercise classes for free at nine leisure centres.

The offer runs across Saturday, 26, and Sunday, 27, January. Anyone taking out a direct debit membership this weekend will pay nothing until March.

The centres taking part are Woodhouse Close, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor, Shildon Sunnydale, Teesdale and Chester-le-Street.

The offer is also running at the Freeman’s Quay, Abbey and Meadowfield centres in Durham.

All fitness appointments must be booked in advance. For more information on the participating leisure centres log on to www.durham.gov.uk/leisureoffers.