Westminster’s historic and much-loved Porchester Centre celebrates its 90th birthday this week.
The original Grade II listed building was built in 1923 by a local architect, Herbert Shepherd and was originally called Porchester Hall. At the time, the facility comprised only public baths and a laundry. Between 1927 and 1929, the building was then extended to include steam rooms, a library and assembly rooms and officially re-opened to the public on 24 September 1929. It was then forever known as The Porchester Centre. Historic England note that, "The Porchester Spa complex is now exceptionally rare, and is thought to be the best surviving example, whilst the hall is an unusually rich example of its date".
Today the facility, which is operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Westminster City Council, includes a fantastic range of facilities including the main pool, small pool, squash courts, a state-of-the-art 140 station gym, three studios for exercise offering 80 classes per week, a dedicated hot yoga studio, an elegant art deco 1920s event hall and of course the Porchester Spa. The facility is home to over 3,500 members and offers a wide range of activities for the whole community to enjoy.
As part of the celebrations to mark its 90th birthday, Everyone Active and Westminster City Council are proud to announce that the Porchester Spa is currently undergoing a refurbishment to restore its splendour. Working in partnership with Historic England to ensure the project is handled sensitively and to retain its art deco finish, the refurbished spa will be receiving:
· new glazed doors
· tiled walls
· steam room benches
· floor retiling
· new ceilings
· new showers in keeping with the 1920s feel and to complement the vanity area
The spa will also be reducing its impact on the environment, with new LED lighting throughout, improved piping and a new back up steam generator.
The spa will officially reopen on Thursday 14 November, Everyone Active and Westminster City Council will be hosting a grand re-opening event to celebrate the new spa as well as the facility turning 90. All members of the local community are welcome to join and tour this local treasure, with more details to follow in the coming months.
Cllr Iain Bott, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community said: “The Porchester Centre is one of our most popular leisure centres and very much still going strong 90 years after first opening its doors. The plans for the Spa are really impressive and I look forward to it reopening after its refurbishment.”
Simon Plummer, General Manager, The Porchester Centre said: “We’re delighted to hear The Porchester Centre is turning 90 years old. This well-loved facility is the crown jewel in our local community and we are proud to operate the site in partnership with Westminster City Council. The improvements to the spa have been a long time coming and we pleased to be making this investment to future proof its use for many years to come. We look forward to welcoming everyone in November when the spa officially reopens.”
For more information about The Porchester Centre please visit www.everyoneactive.com