Sevenoaks District Council have announced that work has begun on the new White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley.
Construction company ISG is building the new Centre and it represents a major investment in the heart of the town with the £20 million scheme being the councils largest project in over 30 years.
The modern, energy efficient, bright and open facility will take over from the current White Oak Centre, which has served many Swanley residents for years.
Built in 1960s and extended in the 1970s, the current centre is coming to the end of its life and is expensive to run, uses a lot of energy and would have cost too much to repair.
The new centre will include:
- A 25 metre, six lane swimming pool with movable floor
- A learner pool
- A viewing area for both swimming pools
- A ‘Feel Good Suite’ for people who need help to exercise
- A café / seating area
- Tag Active – a game-based indoor obstacle course
- Soft play area
- Multi-purpose sports area
- Multi‐purpose rooms
- Studio spaces
- 100+ station fitness suite
- Wet and dry changing areas
- Café and viewing area
- Car parking for around 140 vehicles and a coach drop-off point
For those that do not like change, it sounds exactly the same as the old Leisure Centre.
The current White Oak Leisure Centre will remain open during the works, which is rather confusing, as which bit are they rebuilding?
The next phase of the construction works will involve cladding the outside of the
centre. This will start on the south side, along Garrolds Close. The cladding contractor will then work on both the east and the west sides at the same time. Let’s hope that they will be installing fire-proof cladding.
The current White Oak Leisure Centre will remain open during the works.
Planning permission for the new Centre and outline permission for two and three bedroom family homes on the current site was approved in February 2020. These homes are essential to the project as they will help to fund the new Leisure Centre. So there we go, the actual site will be smaller to accommodate some new homes squeezed in. How foolish we were in thinking SDC would actually stump up the full amount “in their biggest spend in 30 years!”.
National leisure provider, Everyone Active, will manage the new Centre and charge the council even more for ‘outsourcing the job’.
A local resident has already commented that it is disappointing that the pool will remain the same size as before, as it was always overcrowded! That’s all from happy Swanley for now!