A MARKET town’s leisure centre where visitors have used second-hand equipment is set to receive a £314,000 boost to improve facilities.

Hambleton District Council’s cabinet has agreed to plough £208,000 into new equipment and £86,000 into building works at Bedale Leisure Centre.

The gym and fitness services at the centre generated £198,000 in 2019/20, representing 41 per cent of the total income at the centre.

As there is no opportunity to expand the gym or fitness class studio externally due to land not being available, the authority is to refurbish the health and fitness areas including the replacement of equipment to provide a 30-station gym and space for 20 indoor cycling bikes as well as an up to date experience in line with the other Hambleton leisure centres.

A report to a meeting of the authority’s cabinet stated another aim was to refurbish the reception area, improve the circulation space and maximise the use of the foyer space. It stated one benefit of the changes would be to enable personal health tracking and support health intervention programmes, such as Take that Step wellbeing scheme.

The council’s leisure services portfolio holder Councillor Bridget Fortune said to undertake the programme of improvements there would need to be some short-term closures, but given the enforced Covid-19 closures they would be kept to an absolute minimum.

Bedale councillor Mike Barningham said he used the leisure centre for fitness classes and in the past it had received “hand-me-downs” from the authority’s leisure centre in Northallerton. He said: “This is good news for Bedale. I welcome that there is some investment in the equipment in Bedale. It’s been long awaited.”