Deptford’s Wavelengths leisure pool saved after campaigners make a splash

Wavelengths attracts users from both Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs

The leisure pool at Wavelengths leisure centre in Deptford has been saved from closure after over 4,800 people signed a petition urging Lewisham Council to keep it.

Lewisham announced yesterday that the pool, which has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, will reopen later this year after major renovation works.

The announcement came two months after 853 first reported the threat to the facility, which is popular with families from both Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs.

A Save Wavelengths campaign swung into action, with children at the Deptford branch of Invicta Primary School enlisted to show their support in a social media video.

Like most centres in Lewisham, Wavelengths 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.

Lewisham had been reviewing its leisure facilities since the change of contract, and said it needed to “consider its options” at Wavelengths after finding the leisure pool needed repairs. Work to reopen the centre’s fitness pool is expected to be finished by the school summer holidays, with the leisure pool is expected to take 24 weeks to complete.

The flumes will be removed to save £200,000 a year in costs – they will be replaced by “beach-style seating areas and a range of inflatables and soft play”. Lewisham had previously said the centre cost £400,000 per year to run.

Lewisham’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, Andre Bourne said: “Local people have told us that they really value the leisure water at Wavelengths – so do we, and I’m pleased we’ve found a way to invest in it and keep it open. We want Wavelengths to be a local family attraction so families can really make the most of the centre again.

“I am of course disappointed we need to remove the existing flumes, but by doing so we can afford to keep the leisure pool open. I think that is the right decision and I can’t wait to take my own children to the pool when it reopens.”

The £770,000 costs are expected to be met from the council’s leisure budget and Section 106 contributions from developers, which are paid to mitigate the impact of their schemes on local communities.

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