A LONG-AWAITED leisure centre is on track to be completed this summer “on time” and “in budget”.

Construction of the £13.3m Ingleby Barwick Leisure Centre has been continuing for the past 18 months on the All Saints Academy site.

It will include two swimming pools, a health and fitness suite, a gym and a library when it’s completed.

Stockton councillor Jim Beall told the latest people select the new leisure centre would be coming this summer.

“Everything is on-time and in budget. That money came from the council because the council will still own the physical resources,” he added.

Delays in getting the project signed off have frustrated its progress at times.

Cllr Ken Dixon, leader of the Ingleby Barwick Independent Society (IBIS), has pushed for a leisure centre on the estate for more than a decade.

He said Ingleby had “no parks and no amenities” before 2005 – with efforts to get a leisure centre and pool beginning in 2009.

“A lot of people didn’t believe we would get it – or did not want us to get it,” added Cllr Dixon.

“Some people have said it’s in the wrong place but it’s the best place for it – it’s central, where people can walk to it or cycle.”

The centre will be run by Tees Active Leisure – which already operates three centres in the borough on behalf of Stockton Council.

The former policeman said the 25m and 18m pools had now been completely tiled – with the cafe and reception area also nearing completion.

The smaller of the two pools has a movable floor – and will be used for learning activities for those who need to build up their confidence before using the main pool.

A parking area to allow three school buses to stop outside the centre and a patio area are also taking shape.

Cllr Dixon added: “The sauna and steam rooms are getting fitted out – and the upstairs gym is getting a suppressed floor.”

“It should be open for the kids to enjoy during the school holidays.”