PLANS to expand Haddington’s sports centre have been given the go-ahead.

The Aubigny Sports Centre, which opened in 1974, is well used by residents from throughout the town and neighbouring villages.

However, with the town’s population growing, enjoyleisure – which operates the centre, on the town’s Mill Wynd, on behalf of East Lothian Council – has been looking to offer more facilities.

The extension will focus on improving the gym facilities.

READ MORE: Haddington: Plans revealed to extend Aubigny Sports Centre gym

When the proposals were revealed, a council spokesperson said: “The proposed extension would provide a brand new gym area for the Aubigny, featuring Pulse Fitness equipment, including a large free weights area with half racks, cable pulleys, an adjustable Olympic bench, multi-functional plate-loaded machine, dumbbells up to 50kg and benches.

“A functional training space housing a training rig, powerbags, kettlebells, suspension training equipment, sledge and high-intensity training machines to meet this growing demand within the fitness market will also be created.

“More traditional cardiovascular equipment will be maintained, including new stepmills and fixed resistance machines to cater for all the community.

“At the moment, the Aubigny provides only a small gym as well as the swimming pool and associated facilities, and two dance studios/multi-use rooms.

“We think this will be a very welcome addition to the provision at this popular centre.”

READ MORE: Haddington: Aubigny Sports Centre hall to close for works

The extension, which will be built between the existing sports centre and Mill Wynd to the north, will result in five trees having to be removed.

However, the council, which is behind the plans, confirmed 13 new trees were proposed to be planted on part of the remaining area of grassed open space.

The planning officer said: “Accordingly, the proposed development would not harmfully impact on any open space or facilities that make a significant contribution to the recreational needs of the community.

“Moreover, the proposed new extension would provide alternative indoor sports facilities which would enhance the existing recreational facilities provided by the sports centre. The proposals would not have a detrimental impact on the general amenity of the area.”

A new path and bike shelters are also included as part of the approved application.

enjoyleisure was unable to give a date for when work on the project could get under way.

Bill Axon, chief executive, said: “Enjoy is absolutely delighted that the advancement of a much-needed extension to Aubigny Sport Centre is progressing.

“This will provide for a high-quality and significantly enlarged gym area, which will considerably improve the customer experience for customers and groups at Aubigny with other benefits including new employability opportunities.

“This reinforces the strong partnership that exists between Enjoy and East Lothian Council with regards our joint commitment to the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“Regular exercise is a vital component in retaining a healthy body; it also has an important part to play in maintaining good mental health, which for many reasons people are struggling with at present.

“We take our responsibilities in that regard very seriously, which is why we offer a varied offering of activities that goes some way to helping everyone manage their moods, anxiety, stress, through feeling energised by participating in physical activity at all levels.

“These enhanced facilities will contribute greatly to improving the health and wellbeing of the good people of Haddington and East Lothian as a whole and I know this expansion will be welcomed by existing and new customers alike.”