Six months into the Labour administration, I’m delighted that we’ve made yet another major step forward for the regeneration of Elephant and Castle by giving the green light for a new swimming pool and leisure centre.
This decision follows on from our swift action to complete the Regeneration Agreement with Lend Lease for the redevelopment of the Heygate Estate area in July and to decide that a new leisure centre should be built on the site of the existing centre – right in the heart of Elephant & Castle.
The consultation on new leisure facilities at the Elephant and Castle was a huge success with over 1300 responses. What people said they really want is a new swimming pool – not surprising as the area has been without a pool for over ten years. The next most popular facilities were a gym, exercise studio and sports hall.
In the light of the consultation results we have given approval to progress plans for a new leisure facility with a six lane 25m swimming pool, a learner pool, a four court sports hall, a gym, an exercise studio, a crèche and a café.
Unfortunately, there are limitations on the availability of both funding and space. In large part the new centre will need to be financed by disposing of part of the site for a residential development. Unfortunately the reduced footprint means the new sports hall will be smaller than the existing one and it won’t be possible to replace the squash courts.
The regeneration of Elephant and Castle is a priority for the Labour administration and we are determined that we will keep up the momentum and deliver the transformation that local residents deserve.