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aerial view of gurnell leisure centre site

Pool plans set to make a splash

We could be a step closer to seeing Gurnell Leisure Centre replaced by a 50-metre, Olympic-sized swimming pool and gym.

New and improved plans are due to be submitted in the spring, with the aim of bringing the closed centre back into use with fun, modern facilities.

As well as the swimming pool and gym, plans might include a climbing wall, immersive gaming room and a creche. There might also be space for residents to hold children’s parties, or meetings.

Ealing Council approved the initial plans back in February and new designs have since been worked up with the help of the Gurnell Community Sounding Board.

The board is made up of representatives from a diverse range of interested groups and centre users, as well as ward councillors. It met recently to discuss the latest plans and feedback on workshops that have taken place with local sports groups.

‘It’s moving forward’

Built in the late 1970s, the existing centre was closed at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Dave Heathcock, head coach at Ealing Swimming Club and member of the sounding board, said: “It might not have all gone as fast as we hoped but since Gurnell closed in 2019 we have been through COVID and there has been other economic pressures – but it’s moving forward. We’re looking forward to this happening and remain hopeful that it will go smoothly for a 2026 opening.”

‘A centre we can all be proud of’

Councillor Polly Knewstub, the council’s cabinet member for thriving communities, added: “We look forward to delivering the top quality, energy efficient leisure centre Ealing deserves. As with our plans for an outdoor lido, we’ll make sure residents are involved at every stage. It’s so exciting that we can look forward to a leisure centre we can all be proud of.”

The council’s planning committee turned down a previous application for a new centre at the site in 2021. Extensive consultation has since been carried out with key groups and residents, and the new plans reflect this feedback.

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