Sunday, 5 June 2011

Olympic Capital Legacy Fund Stage 1

We have just heard that our application for the refurbishment of the Sports Hall has been recommended to continue to Phase 2 of the process. We have applied for £500K for the refurbishment of the Sports Hall. Below is an outline of our application request.

The opening of the pool in February will be followed by the gym, dry-side changing rooms, Warwick Hall and Youth Area in September 2011. These works are defined as Phase 2 and 3. The contractors will remain on site until this date. This means that considerable savings would be achieved should funding be available to proceed with Phase 4 development in 2011.The only remaining areas of the centre requiring significant investment to bring them up to modern standards are the Sports Hall, and the 2nd class entrance off Harvey Road. The Sports Hall currently features a sunken area (approximating the former pool tank) which is used for football and badminton sessions. The hall has poor heating and ventilation, and due to a lack of maintenance and investment, the roof and lantern windows leak, and poor insulation results large energy losses from the building. These works are defined as Phase 4.

It is the Sports Hall which is the subject of the application for funds from the Olympic Legacy Project. The total cost for refurbishing the Sports Hall is £1,097,806.

As a campaigning body, Camberwell Baths is encouraging the Executive Committee of Southwark Council to allocate funding from the Capital Programme fund to complete Phase 4 of the refurbishment. However, at the time of writing it is unclear the level of funding which may be awarded. It is in this context that an application has been made to the Olympic Legacy Project, putting forward Phase 4 development of Camberwell Leisure Centre as an appropriate legacy project for the people of Camberwell. This funding would allow the completion of a high quality project.

We would recommend that the Sports Hall is renamed The Olympic Hall in recognition of this legacy.

Camberwell Leisure Centre holds an important place in the strategic development of Camberwell in terms of its contribution not only to health and well being, but also is a symbol of civic pride. With the closure of the Town Hall, Camberwell Leisure Centre will be the only heritage building in Camberwell which is open to the public. It therefore represents a rare opportunity for local residents to immerse themselves in living history. It is rare, being one of only 13 Victorian swimming pools in England which is still open for public use. The critical role that it will play in terms of engaging young people to participate in sports and leisure activities is also critical.