No reopening date for Edmonton Leisure Centre as cost of repairs put at more than £4m

Problems with the Fore Street facility are said to include leaking sewage and structural problems with the swimming pool, reports James Cracknell

Edmonton Leisure Centre
Edmonton Leisure Centre

The cost of repairing Edmonton Leisure Centre has been revealed as nearly £4.4million – with Enfield Council still unable to state when it will reopen.

Problems with the Fore Street facility are said to include leaking sewage and structural problems with the swimming pool, and the Dispatch understands the council does not currently have the money available to fix the issues itself.

Edmonton Leisure Centre has been closed since December, when Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) took over the council’s leisure contract from previous operator Fusion Lifestyle.

During the handover, GLL discovered serious issues with the centre that had developed over previous years but been left unresolved.

Edward Smith, the Conservative group’s shadow cabinet member for leisure, told the Dispatch that the blame lay with the council rather than with GLL. He said: “This is a long-running problem and the council has failed in my view to keep a proper eye on it when it was managed by Fusion.

“There has been a long-standing issue with leaking sewage from the flats above that are managed by different housing associations and it will take some sorting out […] there are also structural issues with the swimming pool that are very serious.”

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Cllr Smith said the council had commissioned structural surveys which had now laid out the extent of the problems and that the cost of the works will be “very substantial”. The Dispatch understands this cost has been estimated at £4.38m.

Asked directly when the works to repair and reopen Edmonton Leisure Centre would take place, a council spokesperson said: “Following the transfer of our leisure provision to Greenwich Leisure Limited, the in-depth surveys into Edmonton Leisure Centre have now concluded.

“We are looking at all possible options with GLL to invest in and reopen the centre, and offer activities to Edmonton residents. Once this work is complete, we will be able to set out a detailed timeline.

“We remain committed to minimising the impact of the situation on members of the centre, who continue to have access to every [other] Enfield leisure centre while we assess the options.”

The council’s other leisure facilities include Albany Leisure Centre in Enfield Wash, Southbury Leisure Centre, Southgate Leisure Centre and Arnos Pool.

Aynsley Taylor, a user of Edmonton Leisure Centre, said: “This facility is so important to the health and wellbeing of the area and it’s disgraceful how the previous operators ran it down. We all know that Enfield Council are strapped for cash but there doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency here, and it all adds to the sense that Edmonton residents get the short end of the stick.”

Issues with leisure centres run or previously run by Fusion Lifestyle are not limited to Enfield – in Haringey, two facilities in Tottenham and Crouch End were closed for extended periods last year while maintenance issues were resolved. Haringey Council later decided that it would run the leisure centres itself, in-house, rather than bringing in another external provider.

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