Mayor of London commits to repair Crystal Palace pool after cracks discovered during lockdown

By Kiro Evans, Local Democracy Reporter

Sadiq Khan is set to repair the Crystal Palace swimming pools following public pressure.

The Mayor is expected to deliver a multi-million pound package to patch up the sports facility, which has been closed since March 2020.

The popular sports centre, which features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, diving boards, a gym and trampolines, was opened in 1964.

It has since hosted British sporting legends such as gold-medallist Tom Daley who used the centre to practice for the games.

Closed for the pandemic, serious cracks were found in the empty swimming pools, preventing them from being used after lockdown ended.

Around 42,000 people signed a petition to get the pools repaired.

A City Hall spokesperson has confirmed Sadiq Khan’s commitment to getting the pools up and running again.

They said:  “The Mayor is committed to the comprehensive renovation of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre so that it can be brought safely back into full use as soon as possible and deliver positive sporting, community, health and wellbeing outcomes for Londoners.

“Sadiq completely appreciates the frustration of all those who love using the pools and has asked his team to urgently contract a firm to plan and carry out the necessary renovation works, with the goal of maximising the time the pools are available for use.

“The National Sports Centre is a hugely important sporting and community facility for the capital and this decision will secure its future for decades to come.

“Further consultation on the development plans will be planned for the coming months, to ensure the local community, centre users and key stakeholders can fully input their views. This will build on the previous engagement work done to date and ensure the vision for the centre captures local aspirations.”

The exact amount City Hall will provide for the project is not yet clear, but back in March 2020, before the centre closed, Mayor Khan announced a £1m boost to develop the sports centre.

There is also yet to be any confirmation for the timetable for the repair works.

MP for Lewisham West and Penge Ellie Reeves greeted the news.

She wrote on Twitter: “After a tireless campaign driven by our local community, @sadiqkhan has committed to funding the renovations for the 50m pool and diving pool at Crystal Palace. We now must ensure that this is delivered on as soon as possible & get our pools reopened.”

The last time the National Sports Centre was subject to a survey for major works in 2018, it was believed the cost for repairs could rise as high as £50 million.



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