Progress on Highbury Pool rebuild as planning permission granted and main contractor confirmed
The reinstatement of the pool hall at Highbury Leisure Centre has taken a major step forward, following planning approval and the appointment of KJ Evans as main contractor.
Works have now commenced on the final phase of the project, to restore all areas of the pool hall, including the roof, pools and poolside areas, changing rooms and plant systems.
The completion of the reinstatement programme will also include the full restoration of the centre’s health and fitness areas.
Leisure operator and charitable social enterprise GLL has worked in partnership with Islington Council to conduct the extensive reinstatement process since the devastating fire on 25th September 2018. First to reopen was the centre’s health and fitness offering, with a temporary gym and studio space available to customers just 10 weeks after the incident.
Subsequent works have also allowed the usable area to be extended further, with the introduction of additional functional space and a spin studio in January 2020.
Planning permission for the reinstatement works was agreed by Islington Council’s Planning Department on 24th January 2020. Works are scheduled for completion in early 2021.
Paul Lister, Head of Service at GLL said: “This latest development is a huge step forward in the reinstatement works at Highbury Leisure Centre, as we enter the final and most significant phase of the programme.
“We continue to work closely with Islington Council to ensure that we can return outstanding leisure facilities to the community as quickly and safely as possible.
“We are extremely grateful to our customers for their continued patience. We appreciate the centre is an important community facility and we are extremely excited to welcome them to the new and improved centre.”
Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for health and social care, visited the centre earlier this week and said: “The new spin studio is a fantastic addition to the range of activities on offer at Highbury Leisure Centre. With work now under way on reinstating the pool and health and fitness areas, I am looking forward to seeing the wonderful results.”
Following the fire, expert teams surveyed the site to accurately assess the damage and how much of the remaining infrastructure could be reused, whilst also making the site safe for rebuilding work to begin.
This was followed by the extensive clearance of the pool hall, including the draining of pool tanks, clearing debris and removing damaged items, whilst stripping out the existing electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems.
Steps were also taken to further secure the site by reinforcing the remaining roof structure, as well as installing a Shrink Wrap system to protect the structure from the elements.