Northumbria University have completed the impressive transformation of Sport Central, a multi-purpose sports centre in Newcastle city centre that forms part of the campus. Investing in an innovative gym refurbishment, supplied by Matrix Fitness, the 751 sq m gym now offers a premium offering for students, staff and the community.

“Fitness has evolved rapidly since Sport Central was first opened in 2010. The days of cardio equipment lining the gym floor are gone, replaced by functional training, immersive technology, measurable metrics and performance-led equipment.” Daryl Dixon, Sport Experience Manager at Northumbria University explains.

“Prior to the tender, we spent a lot of time visiting other gyms and were hugely impressed by what we saw from Matrix Fitness. It was imperative that we partnered with a supplier that was going to support our vision to install the best, and most technologically connected equipment, and we awarded Matrix the contract based on quality, price, added value but also their desire to collaborate with us to ensure the gym was a long-term success. Technology is shaping the industry and Matrix were the perfect partner and ‘one-stop-shop’ to launch us ahead of the curve.”

Membership targets for 2019/2020 were exceeded within five weeks of installation and this includes a year on year increase in student memberships of over 600. The team are already having to explore options of increasing their Group Exercise Programme as classes are consistently full.

“This investment isn’t just about providing a fantastic student experience, it’s about ensuring that student wellness stays at the forefront of what we do.” Daryl continues. “With more students visiting the gym more frequently, working out has become the new ‘going out’ and we’re really pleased to see the positive impact that providing a first-class fitness facility can have on not only physical, but also mental and social health.”

The gym refurbishment included installation of top of the range Matrix equipment, incorporating its 7xi cardio equipment, Ultra strength equipment with the connected intelligent training consoles, Magnum Racks and Magnum Plate Loaded units, CXP bikes, the Connexus Perimeter rig as well as S-Force and S-Drive performance trainers.

Utilising the Matrix CXP bikes for indoor cycling classes has proven particularly popular, with a distinctive Target Training touchscreen display that uses engaging graphics and vibrant colours to motivate riders, assess effort and keep everyone on track for their goals.

“The positive feedback has been overwhelming. Our indoor cycling is always fully booked now. The instructors have even commented on how refreshing the new bikes have been to the way they teach; allowing them to track, measure and focus on meaningful metrics rather than just a pumping backing track so our members get to see real results. Since the installation and Matrix Master Trainer visit, we now have the most motivated gym team around!”

Stephen Nutt, Matrix Fitness Education Sector Specialist adds: “Students are more health conscious than ever before. Universities are having to get creative, offering a fitness experience that engages and motivates its members. 

The team at Northumbria have been completely open minded, forward thinking and have allowed us to collaborate on an installation that brings Sport Central to the forefront of what the fitness industry has to offer. It is a leading, showcase site and one that both teams are incredibly proud of.”

For more information on how Matrix Fitness can transform your gym space and provide you with the latest in fitness equipment and connectivity visit