Tuesday, 11 December 2012

After nearly six years of campaigning I am delighted to tell you that the last stage of the refurbishment of Camberwell Baths is now complete. Following the opening of the pool and the gym in 2011, the final three areas which will open to the public on 7 January 2013 are the Warwick Hall, the Jubilee Hall ( formerly the Sports Hall) and the Camberwell Youth Centre ( see below) With your marching, petitioning, letter writing and general bloody mindedness, you all played critical roles in this legacy project with helping the community to access the Free Swimming Capital Modernisation Fund, and the Olympic Legacy Fund. This enabled us to access matching capital funds from Southwark Council, and to make the whole project both cost efficient and achievable. It has already been an enormous success, with 22,000 users every month even without the additional three spaces. The two refurbished halls will mean that Camberwell Baths will have the largest communal activity space in Southwark. It will be a multi use space, and we are hoping that the first Camberwell Free Film Festival will have a showing in the Jubilee Hall in March. We are particularly excited about the new Youth Centre, and the Youth Leader, PK, who will be joining us from the Damilola Taylor Centre in Peckham. The three new spaces are: Jubilee Hall – This 600 sqm hall has had an entire makeover including a new glazed roof light, audio visual system and air conditioning. A huge amount of space has been created by raising the floor to one level; this means the space can now be used for sports, exercise classes and much more. Warwick Hall – Named after Alderman Alfred Charles Warwick, the 200 sqm hall has been transformed. The old ceiling was removed to expose the beautiful Victorian roof structure allowing classes to enjoy lots of natural daylight. The hall also has a new sprung floor, sound system, improved ventilation and air conditioning, and acoustic improvements to reduce noise breakout from the space. Camberwell Youth Centre – Specially aimed at 13 to 19 year olds, our youth centre is quite different from the other youth clubs in the borough in that it will offer creative sessions that can be booked in advance. When the programme begins in January our team of youth workers will be on hand to encourage young minds to get involved in making music, creative art, and get advice and guidance on fitness and healthy living, training, jobs and work experience. A programme of activities and opening times for the Camberwell Youth Centre will be available in the New Year.

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