The Princess Royal visited South Tyneside to open a £3 million health and wellbeing centre managed by Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle.
The Princess was taken on a guided tour of Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre in South Shields before unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
She was greeted by Andrew Watts, Executive Director of Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle and Dr Matthew Walmsley, GP Partner at Marsden Health Centre, before being escorted around the newly refurbished GP surgery and range of community facilities.
The Princess was introduced to health professionals and patients, local ward councillors and housing officers. Children from Harton Primary School played football and rugby in the centre’s new multi-useIt’s wonderful that the Princess Royal was part of this memorable day and experienced these excellent facilities and met the people who will run them and use them.
Andrew Watts Groundwork STAN
games area and members of the local community took part in fitness sessions in the new sports hall and gym.
The royal visitor was presented with a posy by 16-year-old Chloe Atkinson – a member of the Senior Youth Club at the centre, who also took part in consultation around the design of the building.
The new centre was funded by South Tyneside Council and the NHS and is managed on the council’s behalf by Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle.
Andrew Watts said: “It’s wonderful that the Princess Royal was part of this memorable day and experienced these excellent facilities and met the people who will run them and use them. Hopefully she has taken away with her a real sense of the very important part this centre will play in providing access to sport, health and wellbeing activities within this vibrant local community in the years to come.”
Dr Matthew Walmsley, GP Partner at Marsden Health Centre, added: “We are very honoured to have Princess Anne open the health centre. It recognises the massive changes in the health centre and how it will enable us to go forward and look after the health of our population in the future, which will be more focused on prevention and healthy lifestyles than in the past.”
Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre features a 3G artificial sports pitch, gym and sports hall and offers youth activities, events and rooms for hire. As well as a GP surgery and dentist practice, the centre also has a South Tyneside Homes housing office to offer integrated services to the local community.
It replaces the former community centre, which closed last year as it was beyond economic repair.
Picture/South Tyneside Council