Britannia Leisure Centre in Hackney gets £300,000 revamp - despite being earmarked for imminent demolition
PUBLISHED: 10:54 08 November 2016
Nearly a third of a million pounds is being spent on cosmetic works at a leisure centre which has been earmarked for demolition.
When complete the £300,000 revamp at Britannia Leisure Centre in Hyde Road, Shoreditch, will see refurbishment of the reception space and gym, which will be expanded into an adjacent fitness studio.
It will also pay for setting up a room dedicated to group cycling, building a large fitness studio, and converting a store into a social area for customers with kitchenette, sofas, tables and chairs.
And yet the Learning Trust is currently advertising a new school, Shoreditch Park, to prospective secondary pupils – which they say is going to be built on the site where Britannia now stands in Hyde Road.
Flats and a new leisure centre are also part of the development.
A feasibility study on the plans, promised in June, is now long overdue.
Furthermore the land is also one of four sites where a ventilation shaft could be built for Crossrail 2.
A spokesman for Hackney Council said the £300,000 upgrade was funded by GLL as part of their contract, and that the improvements were necessary “to maintain the standards expected by customers”.
But Pat Turnbull from the Campaign to Save Britannia – set up in light of the proposed development – said: “We do think it’s odd that they have spent all this money on a facility they propose to knock down. They say it isn’t much money but it sounds quite a lot to us.
“Money has been spent on King’s Hall in the past few years to repair the roof, and the main hall was closed for several months while repairs were being done. In the 2000s Clissold Leisure Centre was closed for three years shortly after it was opened, because structural faults had to be repaired. The London Fields lido is to be closed for several months for repairs this winter.”
“Britannia Leisure Centre is currently running with all facilities available and a full sporting offer - we find it very strange that it is therefore being described as so decrepit that it has to be demolished.”
The council estimates Britannia would otherwise need £14m spent on it, and would be closed for some time whilst works were ongoing.
The council’s community chief Cllr Jon Burke said: “The recent refurbishment works reflect our commitment to maintaining high standards of service for customers at the reception area and in terms of health and fitness provision until the new facility is complete.”
A spokesman for GLL said: “The recent £300,000 investment has been undertaken in order to maintain standards, provide a consistent, quality service to local residents and meet customer demand.”
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