Council plans to renovate two leisure centres in £27m scheme

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A council has revealed plans to renovate two of the borough’s leisure centres in a £27million scheme.

Bromley council has moved forward with proposals to improve facilities at the West Wickham and the Walnuts leisure centres.

The council said in a statement on November 1 that the works would include upgrades to the swimming pools in both centres, including drowning detection technology and new pool roofs.

A CGI of the reception and café area planned for the West Wickham Leisure Centre (Picture: Bromley council)

Council documents said new accessible toilets, cafés and changing facilities are also envisioned for both centres, along with the gym spaces being expanded.

A new soft play zone is planned for the West Wickham Centre in Station Road, which council officers said was in a worse condition than the Walnuts Leisure Centre in Lych gate Road.

The proposed improvements to both centres were developed following a survey of residents which received 6,135 responses.

An officer said at council meeting on October 8: “At West Wickham, we are hoping to keep both the length and the depth pool. We have identified preliminary funding for one boom between the two centres… The swimming club at West Wickham is against having a boom because they see it as a loss of pool space but the swimming club at the Walnuts would prefer to have a boom.”

Officers cited the leisure centres as two of the borough’s most used facilities in their report, with over 20,000 visits a month. They said both centres were at the end of their natural design life, having been built in the late 1960s.

The council has appointed Alliance Leisure Services to carry out the works. The plans for the project are expected to be finalised in 2024 for works to begin next year and be completed in 2026.

The council said in a statement that one of the two pools would be kept open throughout this period to maintain swimming access to the public.

A Bromley council spokesman said: “We want to see first-class leisure facilities at both these important sites and have been developing these exciting plans, bearing in mind the priorities raised by the residents and communities who will benefit from them.”

Pictured top: A CGI of the renovated pool planned for the West Wickham Leisure Centre (Picture: Bromley council)

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