The ground has officially been broken and work is underway on two new leisure centres in Barnet following a ground-breaking ceremony at Barnet Copthall yesterday (25 January)
As part of a £41.5m council investment, and an award of £2m National Lottery funding from Sport England, Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre will be redeveloped, creating a new facility for the community, in addition to the construction of a new leisure centre in Victoria Recreation Ground, New Barnet which will replace the existing Church Farm Leisure Centre. The Victoria Recreation Ground facility will also include a partnership library, relocated from the current East Barnet Library.
Councillor Sachin Rajput, Chairman of Adults and Safeguarding Committee and Lead Member for Sport and Physical Activity, said: “I’m delighted the works for the leisure centres, which will create further sport and physical activity opportunities for our residents, are now underway.
“This comes as part of the council’s investment strategy, which will see a major capital investment between 2016 and 2020 on vital infrastructure including three new schools, an additional Thameslink station, two community hubs, four business hubs, the council’s new offices, road and pavement investment, a new children’s home and the delivery of more than 600 homes over the next five years.”
The new leisure centre at Barnet Copthall will provide residents with a range of state-of-the-art facilities including: learner pool, community pool (25m 6 lane), competition pool (25m 8 lane), café, sports hall, group exercise studios, health and fitness suite and three health improvement rooms.
Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “We are delighted to invest £2m National Lottery funding in these two centres which have the potential to transform the way sport and activity is provided in the borough and offer new opportunities for the whole community.
“At Sport England we want everyone to have the chance to experience the benefits that come with being more active, ranging from mental and physical wellbeing to personal development. Creating excellent environments such as these, where people feel welcome and have a great experience, plays an essential role in enabling them to become more active and more healthy.”
Construction of the sites is being carried out by GRAHAM Construction, as part of an estimated £150m contract to deliver infrastructure for Barnet’s growing borough.
Kieran McDaid, Construction Director at GRAHAM Construction, added: “With work now underway on the leisure centres, we are one step closer to delivering a significant portfolio of major works that will provide new opportunities for learning, living and leisure across the borough. We are committed to meeting the needs of this growing community, and are proud to be working in partnership with the London Borough of Barnet to deliver a better environment for everyone.”
Work on both leisure centres is expected to be completed by summer 2019 with the existing Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre and Church Farm Leisure Centre remaining open as normal until the new facilities have been completed.