Sydenham leisure centre will not reopen after lockdown as it needs £1million spent on it

A leisure centre could be stay closed after lockdown as it needs more than £1million of work on it to secure its future.

The Bridge Leisure Centre in Kangley Bridge Road, Sydenham, lost £600,000 last year and will stay closed when Lewisham’s other complexes reopen at the end of lockdown.

It needs £450,000 spent now and another £600,000 over the next few years to make it safe for users.

So Lewisham council has decided not to reopen it when other centres are allowed to reopen, such as Wavelengths, Forest Hill Pools, Glassmill, Ladywell Arena, Downham Health and Leisure and Bellingham Leisure Centre.

A Lewisham council spokesman said: “The national lockdown means that all leisure centres across London continue to be closed. Ongoing coronavirus restrictions, have made customers wary to return to leisure centres and income across the leisure sector has been severely affected.

Working closely with our leisure partner, GLL a phased reopening of leisure centres will continue when the Government determines it is safe to do so. It is anticipated Wavelengths, Forest Hill Pools, Glassmill, Ladywell Arena, Downham Health and Leisure as well as Bellingham Leisure Centre will be ready to open shortly after restrictions are eased.

Due to financial pressures The Bridge Leisure Centre will not reopen in the short term. The Bridge lost nearly £600,000 last year, and the Council is unable to continue funding the centre at this level.

There are inherent problems with The Bridge due to the age and design of the building which will always present difficulties in the customer experience and the quality of services. Originally a private Sports and Social Club, its layout was not designed to be a public leisure centre .

A recent condition survey has identified significant works are required to return The Bridge to acceptable standard of provision with further investment required for COVID Secure standards. These works are substantial and it is estimated that in the region of £450,000 in capital costs plus a further £600,000 is required over few years to maintain safe operations.

A full review of leisure services in the Bellingham area will be considered as part of the Council’s new Physical Activity Strategy to be shared for public consultation shortly. Detailed recommendations on the next steps for The Bridge are expected to be considered by the Council by autumn 2021.”



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