New Addington’s brand new multi-million pound leisure and community centre celebrated its official opening yesterday with an evening of live music, performances and demonstrations showcasing the stunning new facilities.
A major investment by Croydon Council and the latest milestone in New Addington’s regeneration, the opening was attended by Leader of the Council, Councillor Tony Newman and Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, who formally opened the centre. They were joined by representatives from the council’s contractors Wilmott Dixon, who delivered the development, and leisure operators GLL, who will run the centre.
Centre-users, community members and guests were treated to dazzling displays from Beeja Dance Company and local musician Silvastone, along with demonstrations from an array of sporting groups and individuals.
Among them were Commonwealth Bronze medallist GSF wrestler Syerus Eslami and Rayen Cupid, GLL Sports Foundation (GSF) weightlifter – both Croydon residents. Also wowing the crowds were synchronised swimming troupe Aquabatix; New Addington Short Mat Bowls Club; Addington Judo Club and New Addington Table Tennis Club.
The modern leisure centre, with extended sports and leisure facilities, includes a 25-metre, six-lane main swimming pool and a learning pool, an extensive fitness suite, sport halls and multi-purpose activity studios – hosting all the latest branded classes. The on-site cafe will provide post-workout refreshments.
The new development also offers flexible spaces that can be enjoyed by the local community, including two halls with capacity for around 300 people, with a kitchen, bar, and storage rooms.
In addition eight much-needed family homes will be built, fronting onto Chertsey Crescent.
The project has created more than 75 jobs for Croydon residents. It has also been home Wilmott Dixon’s first Building Lives Academy, which aims to upskill young people in Croydon and provide them with a foot in the door to the construction industry.
The leisure centre development is a key part of the council’s extensive regeneration plans for New Addington. Planning permission has been granted for a brand new community centre in Fieldway, combining the existing Fieldway Family Centre and the Timebridge Community Centre. A new free school for children with special educational needs is also planned to open on the Timebridge site in 2021.
Residents have been consulted on further proposals, including a new wellbeing centre, improved open space in front of the new leisure centre, new homes and shops.
“I’m delighted to formally open the new New Addington Leisure Centre – it’s a stunning space with first-class facilities, inclusive and accessible to all, with something for everyone in New Addington’s diverse community, whether they want to keep fit or socialise with friends and family. It’s great to see so many people enjoying it already – it’s going to make a real difference to the local community.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Simon Sen, Regional Director, GLL, said: “We are proud to open New Addington Leisure Centre in partnership with Croydon Council. As a social enterprise, we are committed to providing outstanding leisure facilities and services, to improve lives in the communities that we serve. This fantastic new facility will allow us to reach even more local people, to improve health and wellbeing by getting active and we are excited to welcome both new and existing customers.”
Roger Forsdyke, managing director for Willmott Dixon, London and south region, said: “This project has been a pleasure to deliver and we are delighted that it has been so well-received by the local community. Not only is it a wonderful space for people to enjoy but it has been making a difference within the community ever since construction started. The Building Lives Academy was our first of five academies and has helped 39 people into full time, long-term employment, which is fantastic. We hope the new facilities will continue to leave a positive lasting legacy in the community for many years to come.”