Lambeth council is committing over half a million pounds to upgrading fire, health and safety measures at Brixton Rec following a condition survey of the iconic leisure and community centre.
The survey report, by Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) shows that while the core structure of the Rec, which opened in 1985, is considered to be in sound condition, the building systems, plant and disabled access are all reaching the end of their serviceable life and will need to be replaced.
That means around £9m worth of major work needs to be carried out over the next decade.
Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods said:
“ The Rec is much loved, and well-used and Nelson Mandela’s visit in 1996 ensured its place forever in the heart of Lambeth’s community. Lib Peck promised to keep the Rec and it’s my job to make sure that happens but we can be more ambitious and think about not just keeping it open but how to make it better. The Rec plays a vital part in supporting the council’s ‘Healthier for Longer’ policy that supports and encourages active, healthy lifestyles for all residents but more than that, as underlined in the user survey earlier this year is its informal, inclusive atmosphere – something not easily found in other sports centres.”
Because the estimated figure of £9m does not provide for any improved disabled access, nor reconfiguration of the building to make better use of space to meet current or future needs, a two-stage capacity and feasibility study to assess options is underway.
In line with recommendations by LSH, further specialist survey work to inspect the brick cladding will be carried out. Meanwhile, Lambeth Council is working with Sport England looking at the predicted population growth in the borough and has reiterated its commitment to:
• A Rec that remains a vibrant community hub in the heart of Brixton.
• A Rec that continues to be a leisure centre.
• A Rec that meets the needs of present and future generations.
• A Rec that meets Disability Discrimination Act requirements.
• A Rec that operates at maximum energy efficiencies
• A Rec that maintains its integrity as an iconic Brixton building
• A Rec that supports the ambitions of health and wellbeing for all
• A Rec that is revenue positive
Brixton Recreation Centre is a critical asset within the proposed Brixton Central Masterplan and its integration into surrounding new development, including the public realm and adjacent land uses will be a key feature. There is potential opportunity to include additional leisure or cultural facilities within to complement facilities at the Rec.
Further details about how to get involved can be found at http://www.futurebrixton.org