Lewisham Council says it is “considering the options” for the future of the leisure pool at the Wavelengths leisure centre in Deptford because it needs major repair works.
The leisure centre is a favourite with families from both Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs, and its gym recently reopened after the coronavirus lockdown.
But both its pools remain closed for repair works, and while the fitness pool is due to reopen, a decision is yet to be taken about the leisure pool.
Like most centres in Lewisham, it was taken over by Woolwich-based GLL – which trades as Better – last year after the council’s previous operator, Fusion, handed back its contract. GLL was spun out of Greenwich Council’s leisure division in the 1990s and now runs centres across the country. It also operates centres in Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Rumours about the future of the pool have spread on social media in recent days. A report to Lewisham Council’s cabinet in January – prepared before the most recent lockdown – said that Wavelengths “has long run at a significant operational deficit”.
“This is primarily due to the operation of the leisure pool which has very high utility costs due to the large water area and high ceilings in the pool hall,” the report said. “Therefore it is recommended that the leisure pool does not reopen immediately with the situation reviewed in Spring 2021.”
A Lewisham Council spokesperson told 853 that while the fitness pool at Wavelengths would reopen, more work needed to be carried out on the leisure pool.
“We are currently undertaking significant repair works to the fitness pool at Wavelengths, which will reopen in the summer,” the spokesperson said. “This work will increase its lifespan by another 20 years at least.
“Unfortunately the leisure pool needs even more significant work, and while we would like to reopen it at the same time, we need to investigate these issues and consider the options, any proposals will be subject to consultation with users and other residents. This means we are unable to give a date for reopening, and if necessary we will ensure that family sessions are offered in the fitness pool when that reopens.
“These improvement works are much needed. We have recently entered into a new partnership with Better, and have committed to investing millions of pounds into the improvement and running of leisure services over the next few years and we hope residents will soon benefit from this.”
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