Published: Tuesday, 21st April 2020
Councillors agreed to build a new, modern leisure centre for Swanley and the north of the District at the Council meeting on Tuesday (21 April 2020).
This represents a major investment in the heart of the town with the £20 million scheme being the largest Council project in over 30 years.
The new centre will replace the current White Oak Leisure Centre that was predominately built in the 1960s and extended in the 1970s. It will give visitors an improved experience in a bright and airy, energy efficient building.
It includes a six-lane swimming pool with a movable floor, which can be adjusted for different ages and abilities and a wide range of clubs, a learner pool, a 100 plus station gym and fitness studio and a multi-use hall. Flexible studios for classes and events alongside new activities, including Tag Active, and a soft play area all form part of the exciting plans, which will see the current centre remain open throughout the build.
To support local sporting clubs that require a large hall, the Council is working with Orchards Academy to upgrade its four-court sports hall to accommodate netball, roller hockey and other sports.
Funding for the improvements has been included in the new leisure centre construction costs.
Planning permission for the new Centre was approved in February 2020 and construction could begin in late May. Sports and Leisure Management (SLM), which operates as Everyone Active, will manage the new Centre.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, says: “By agreeing to build a new, modern leisure centre for Swanley, we have committed to our biggest construction project in more than a generation. The current centre has served residents well for more than 50 years and I know some people will be sad to see it go, but it is coming to the end of its working life. We are now making a massive £20 million investment in the town bringing an exciting new centre that can cater for new and existing leisure activities and provide facilities in Swanley for generations to come.
“We are playing an important leadership role and the new facilities will be available to all, helping people to get active and promoting better physical and mental wellbeing."
David Bibby, Everyone Active’s Managing Director, adds: “We are delighted to be working with Sevenoaks District Council and be a part of a project that will provide a new state-of-the-art facility for the local community.
“We’re passionate about creating a healthier nation – which has never been so important – and it’s great that we’re able to work with another local authority that shares this same desire. The new centre will be a true asset to local people, with its unique design and consideration for a wide range of activity. We’re looking forward to being a part of the delivery and long-term management of a facility that a community can be proud of.”
For latest news on the centre, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/whiteoak
Councillors agreed to award the contract to operate the new leisure centre to Sports and Leisure Management (SLM), which operates as Everyone Active. This is subject to a statutory 10-day standstill period starting 23 April 2020.