A LEISURE centre saved from closure by dedicated volunteers is celebrating a major boost, after securing nearly £50,000 in Lottery funding.

The Active Life Centre, in Coxhoe, near Durham City, has won £49,965 from the National Lottery through Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.

The grant will pay for the venue’s outdoor sports pitch to be resurfaced, using so-called 3G synthetic technology, providing a high-quality, all-weather facility for the village.

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The current astro-turf pitch, though popular with youth and adult football groups, is often out of action during the winter.

Centre manager Melanie Adams said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of our outdoor sports facilities as part of our overall vision to create a wide range of sports and fitness programmes for all ages in the community.

“We can’t wait to open up the space to local club, individuals and families for sports training and recreation.”

Community group Future Leisure in Coxhoe (Flic) saved the former Linden Centre from closure after Durham County Council pulled out in November 2011, amid severe funding cuts.

Since then, a new dance and performance area, studio and reception have been created.

The centre also boasts a fitness suite, exercise classes, sport facilities and function rooms.

Charles Johnston, property director of Sport England, said “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country.

“Since 2011 we’ve invested £88m into more than 1,600 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.

“It’s great to see the Active Life Centre @ Coxhoe join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”

For more information on what is on offer at the Active Life Centre, visit facebook.com/activelifecoxhoe or call 0191-377-1789.

To apply for money from the Inspired Facilities Fund, visit sportengland.org/inspiredfacilities