Walnuts Leisure Centre Refurbishment Delayed

19 Mar 2024
Walnuts Leisure Centre

Bromley Council has announced that the refurbishment works to the Walnuts Leisure Centre will be pushed back. The exact timescales of this are unknown, but will be revealed next month in a meeting on 17th April 2024.

Announced at a Council meeting on 14th March, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that Orpington's refurbishment will be pushed back to allow for structural work to West Wickham Leisure Centre to take place earlier and simultaneously with its refurbishment.

For context, West Wickham has been closed since February due to concerns over rusting steel structures which support the building, with the council currently undertaking propping work to help maintain the structural integrity of the building. 

The reason for moving Orpington’s refurbishment back is that refurbishment at the Walnuts can essentially happen in two phases: the wet phase, including facilities such as the swimming pool, and the dry phase, including facilities like the soft play. This cannot be done for West Wickham as the entire building essentially needs structural work. Because of this, it is more cost effective to push Orpington’s repairs back.

We understand why the delays have had to happen, as we believe that if this refurbishment is done correctly, it could really transform Orpington for the better. What is disappointing, however, is that it has been revealed that the council has received a £300,000 grant from Sport England, with the intention of spending this entirely on West Wickham, and none on Orpington.

Councillor Graeme Casey - Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Orpington Constituency - commented on this decision:

“I am thoroughly disappointed that none of this £300,000 grant will be spent on Orpington,” he stated, “Orpington has the opportunity to become a true hub for sports in London and the South East with this refurbishment, so it’s a real shame that this amazing community venue has been left out of this funding award.”

While the refurbishment has been pushed back, the council are still anticipating that works at both sites will be completed by April 2026.


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