Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Sevenoaks District Councillors give green light to £20 million leisure centre in Swanley

A new modern leisure centre for Swanley, which is covered by Sevenoaks District Council, was given the go ahead at a Council meeting on 21 April 2020 – and the scheme’s cost of £20 million makes it the largest project undertaken by the authority for 30 years.

An artist’s impression of the new White Oak Centre

The new centre will replace the current White Oak Leisure Centre that was predominately built in the 1960s and extended in the 1970s. Planners claim it will give visitors an improved experience in a bright and airy, energy efficient building.

The scheme includes a six-lane swimming pool with a movable floor, which can be adjusted for different ages and abilities and a wide range of clubs, a learner pool, a 100 plus station gym and fitness studio and a multi-use hall.

Flexible studios for classes and events alongside new activities, including Tag Active, and a soft play area all form part of the plans. The current centre will remain open throughout the build.

The current swimming pool area at White Oak

To support local sporting clubs that require a large hall, the Council is working with Orchards Academy to upgrade its four-court sports hall to accommodate netball, roller hockey and other sports.

Funding for the improvements has been included in the new leisure centre construction costs.

Planning permission for the new Centre was approved in February 2020 and construction could begin in late May. Sports and Leisure Management (SLM), which operates as Everyone Active, will manage the new Centre.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, said: “By agreeing to build a new, modern leisure centre for Swanley, we have committed to our biggest construction project in more than a generation. The current centre has served residents well for more than 50 years and I know some people will be sad to see it go, but it is coming to the end of its working life. We are now making a massive £20 million investment in the town bringing an exciting new centre that can cater for new and existing leisure activities and provide facilities in Swanley for generations to come.

“We are playing an important leadership role and the new facilities will be available to all, helping people to get active and promoting better physical and mental wellbeing.”

The new centre will cost £20 million to build

David Bibby, Everyone Active’s Managing Director, added: “We are delighted to be working with Sevenoaks District Council and be a part of a project that will provide a new state-of-the-art facility for the local community.

“We’re passionate about creating a healthier nation – which has never been so important – and it’s great that we’re able to work with another local authority that shares this same desire. The new centre will be a true asset to local people, with its unique design and consideration for a wide range of activity. We’re looking forward to being a part of the delivery and long-term management of a facility that a community can be proud of.”

For latest news on the centre, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/whiteoak 

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