The government are asking us to keep healthy and take exercise. For some people, joining the netball team, or taking up cycling or running is the answer. But is Amble missing out on a dedicated sports centre?

As far as we can tell, Amble is the only large town in Northumberland without any sports centre, or sports activities provided by the county council. We asked why.

A Northumberland County Council spokesperson said: “Active Northumberland manages leisure facilities (and services) in the county on behalf of Northumberland County Council.

“Active Northumberland and Northumberland County Council also work in partnership to provide a sports development service. This can include activity sessions to children and young people and support for local sports clubs and community groups. As part of this service, a school holiday and after school activity programme was offered to Amble Town Council earlier in the year. Active Northumberland also deliver free health walks in the town.”

Amble Town council told us: “We were in contact with Active Northumberland about a programme to enhance the Health and Wellbeing of the whole Community. However their offer did not encompass activities for all age ranges over the year and was limited to school holiday programmes for children only.  ATC value the fantastic work being carried out by our many volunteers and had hoped to have someone working alongside them offering support and advice particularly in relation to grant funding to enhance their offer. ATC are still working towards other programmes including a cycle and walking trail, and seeking to identify venues which could be utilised for sports purposes.”

We can’t claim to have no sports provision in the town – we have the swimming pool at Park Leisure, the sports hall at JCSC and three gyms around the town. But if we would like additional support, the county council say they are happy to talk.

“Officers from Active Northumberland and Northumberland County Council’s sports development team would welcome talks with Amble community leaders to see where we can assist and support the community to develop future health and wellbeing initiatives and activities.”

Anna Williams