by our RBG Correspondent | Woolwich
To help clear the way for a new, £11.2million state-of-the-art, combined library, leisure and cultural facility at the heart of Plumstead, the Warehouse Sports and Performing Arts Centre in Speranza Street will be closed from 25 July.
Plans for the impressive new community facilities have been drawn up following lengthy consultation with local residents and businesses who overwhelmingly asked us for an upgrade in local facilities which we are committed to delivering.
The brand new building will replace the old Warehouse Centre which was originally converted from a disused transport depot in 1974 to create the borough’s first indoor sports centre. As an ageing building requiring heavy investment and very costly repairs to bring it up to date, the Warehouse Sports Centre is no longer fit for purpose. Consequently, it has been decided that the best option is to invest in a significant upgrade of community facilities in a sensitive redesign of the Library building. The Warehouse site will provide new homes and fund the new community facilities.
Existing users can transfer their memberships and bookings to the recently modernised Waterfront Leisure Centre, less than two miles away, and special arrangements are being made for all other sports groups with specific requirements. Provision is being made for the two full time staff members to be redeployed.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich has asked GLL to guarantee alternative facilities for centre users and sports groups while the new Plumstead Leisure Centre is being constructed. This will include the following arrangements:
* Gym users being offered a transfer and accommodated in the Waterfront Leisure Centre.
* Sportshall & Studio bookings (e.g. badminton & gym tots) being relocated to the Waterfront and potentially Plumstead Manor Sportshall.
* Bowls users – new short mat bowls equipment have been purchased (this is a recognised alternative by the national governing body) and this can be accommodated at the Waterfront Leisure Centre during the winter months.
Cllr Danny Thorpe (top right), Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability said: "We are close to a new dawn for library and leisure facilities in Plumstead and although we will be very sad to see the Warehouse centre go, we are making way for a truly magnificent facility which will offer a café, library, roof terrace and new fitness spaces while paying homage to the unique, historical character of the old library."
“The proposals, which were approved as an integral part of a new Plumstead Urban Framework, reflect detailed consultation with local residents and businesses who overwhelmingly voiced their support to revitalise the high street and provide new sports and leisure facilities to local people."
"We are delivering enhanced regeneration and investment to Plumstead and are providing facilities for local people that are fit for the 21st century; this is what residents expect and this is what will be delivered.”
For more information about the closure of the Warehouse Sports and Arts Centre, please visit:
www.better.org.uk or call 020 8855 8289.