Published: Monday, 10th May 2021
A 25 metre swimming pool and café are among the top facilities residents have welcomed in the latest consultation on the new Woolwich Leisure Centre scheme.
Plans also include between 450 and 500 new homes (including affordable ones for residents), as well as shops, restaurants, and the refurbishment of the Tramshed arts centre.
Local people were asked what facilities they would like the new Woolwich Leisure Centre scheme, funded by the Council, to have and what types of homes and commercial buildings they preferred too. There were 438 responses to the consultation that ran from December 2020 to January 2021.
Cllr Sarah Merrill, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, said;
“The Council is making a big investment in Woolwich across a number of regeneration projects that will rejuvenate the town centre, create jobs, attract visitors and boost the local economy. Alongside our successful bids for the Future High Street Fund and Heritage Action Zone, it represents our commitment town centre regeneration that benefits local people and businesses.”
Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities, and Equalities, said:
“It’s great to hear what local residents want from the Woolwich Leisure Centre Scheme so that we can incorporate their feedback into the next stage of the project and help shape the final outcome. This is going to be one of the most exiting leisure centres in London with state-of-the-art facilities for families, young people and adults. The Tramshed puts on performances and workshops with local people and often marginalized groups – the renovation of the theatre puts into action our commitment to grassroots and community-led arts and culture.”
Cllr Anthony Okereke, Cabinet Member for Housing, said;
"Alongside the new Leisure Centre we have ensured that the new housing development will include new affordable homes, 55 of which will be owned by the Council for rent to local people at social rent. These are in addition to the Greenwich Builds new homes and are a further demonstration of our commitment to tackling the housing crisis.”
The majority of those who completed the consultation agreed that the area needs a new facility and that the design of the leisure centre was good and well thought-out. Two bed homes were the preferred size in the residential part of the scheme, and a requirement for housing to be provided by the Council was another common theme. In response to other questions, people gave their views on things such as the retention of the Bull Tavern, the inclusion of cafes and restaurants, and the preferred location on the site for taller buildings. The next stage of the project is to develop the designs taking into account the public's feedback.
In another major step forward, demolition has begun of the existing Wilko store, on General Gordon Square, following Wilko's relocation to new premises in Charlton. The demolition works also include the strip-out of the old Tramshed building as part of a major refurbishment and extension of the theatre and arts centre there - also being funded by the Council - for which planning permission was granted on 26 January. The demolition is being carried-out by Morgan Sindall Construction who the Council has appointed as the main contractor for the leisure centre.
The Council expects the new leisure centre to be complete and ready for use by winter 2024. It will replace the old facilities at the Waterfront Leisure Centre with their modern equivalents and will also provide new facilities not currently available at the existing building. The town centre location means the new leisure centre will benefit from Woolwich's excellent transport links.