Seymour Centre Project FAQs
Find out about the plans for the improvement of the Seymour Centre, and the temporary relocation of some exercise classes.
Are all classes going to be relocated?
Yes. We are currently working on finding each class a new location within Westminster.
Will the instructors move with the class that has moved?
Yes, that is the plan. Our goal is to find a suitable new centre for each class, ensuring continuity with the same instructor.
Why can’t my class be moved to the nearest centre?
The relocation of classes is carefully considered, taking into account various factors such as the class type, instructor availability, and how well the class aligns with the operations of the chosen centre.
The capacity of the studio in Porchester Centre is only 15, why can’t all the classes be moved to Church Street Community Leisure Centre?
While some classes will be moving to Church Street Community Leisure Centre, we have to take into account specific factors such as the studio capacity. Church Street's studio capacity is only 12, which may not accommodate all classes adequately. Additionally, we must adhere to noise restrictions on classes with music, as mandated by planning restrictions for this facility.
Will my class be at the same time as it is at the moment?
We are planning for all classes to be programmed as close to their current times as possible. However, flexibility may be needed in some cases.
What about people with disabilities or mobility problems?
We are actively working on implementing transport solutions to ensure that individuals with disabilities or mobility issues can easily access their new class location.
Will there be a chance to discuss the proposed timetable with Westminster City Council and Everyone Active?
Yes, we will be holding meetings face to face and online on 13 December with customers to discuss the proposed timetable. More details to follow.
Why have you submitted a new planning application when approval has already been granted?
As with any project of this nature design refinement is an ongoing process informed by budget restrictions and site constraints. The changes proposed have little or no impact on service delivery or quality.
The changes are subject to a new Listed Building application, a Planning Non-Material Amendment and a Planning Minor Material Amendment. A new Listed Building application is required to address all of the proposed changes to the building because the approved Listed Building Consent cannot be amended based on recent case law.
How will the proposed changes impact the previously approved plans?
The only proposed change which may impact on people’s view of the proposals is around the soft play provision and the courtyard space. It is now planned to move the soft play from the courtyard to the stage (to retain it in its existing location) and omit the roof over the courtyard. A new outside play area will be created in the courtyard.
In addition to this the salt room has been omitted from the spa proposals to increase the size of the changing room and increase the size of the relaxation area.
Will these changes affect the closure of the centre and the duration of the refurbishment project
The proposed changes will not negatively impact the overall project timeline and updates on progress will be provided at appropriate stages.
Why are you undertaking this refurbishment and adding additional community facilities here?
We have been exploring ways to refurbish and improve the Seymour Leisure Centre for some time. The centre needs investment to improve the existing facilities as a vital community asset housed in a historic building.
Why are you prioritising community spaces over more sports and leisure facilities?
We are not prioritising other areas over the leisure facilities. There will be no overall loss of sports and leisure space – the refurbished centre will include the spaces you enjoy now, in much better condition and designed to modern standards.
However, there is a lot of 'dead' space within Seymour Centre, which is not publicly accessible. We want to make better use of the space by incorporating several services which complement each other such as the children's library, soft play area, and facilities for parents. This will both help to improve the sustainability of the centre and ensure the building provides maximum community benefit.
What are your plans for the pool?
The existing pool is being refurbished in line with Sports England guidelines and will be improved in several ways. For example, there will be better circulation around the pool, and the floor level will be raised to provide level access with the wet change facilities – which is essential for the accessibility of the pool. This will also allow more space for specialist equipment for those who need it – for example, a pool pod and ambulant steps will be added to help people with limited mobility use the pool. The pool lining will also be replaced to prevent leakage.
What sports and leisure facilities will be provided?
We will provide new and improved sports and leisure facilities, building on what is here now, adding new facilities or improving the existing ones where possible.
This will include:
- keeping the 5-court sports hall and improving it
- providing a new main pool
- a new gym
- two exercise studios and one spinning (static cycling) studio
- one flexible matted studio
- a retained and improved climbing facility
- a maintained and improved squash court
- new and improved changing facilities
- a new spa facility with a sauna, steam room, salt room, lounge area and four treatment rooms.
What other facilities are being provided?
We will make it easier for families to enjoy the Seymour Centre by transforming it into a Family Hub with a range of activities for children, including:
- a children’s library
- refurbished soft play facility with lift access for improved accessibly
- study space, including public computers
- buggy storage
- toilet and baby changing facilities next to the soft play
- community bookable spaces are suitable for a range of activities
We are also providing a permanent home for Marylebone Library on the Ground and First floors, as well as providing flexible spaces suitable for a range of uses, including:
- flexible spaces ideal for a range of uses
- bookable rooms which could be used for private events, art classes, and other community events
- a cafe
We will also provide space for the Registrar’s Service, including a room suitable for small wedding ceremonies and office space.
Why are you moving the gym to the basement? Won’t this be dark?
The fitness facilities are located over several floors and in disparate locations within the building. By utilising the large space beneath the sports hall and adjacent spaces on the lower ground floor, we can offer a consolidated fitness service which incorporates a fitness suite, spin, flexible studios, martial arts space, club space, climbing and bouldering as well as treatment rooms, spa and high quality changing facilities all on one level.
Some of these spaces have access to natural light via the light wells around the perimeter of the building. All rooms will be mechanically ventilated, and daylight LED fixtures will ensure that all spaces, even those without access to natural light, will be bright and evenly lit.
When will the refurbished centre open?
At this stage of the project, we can only provide indicative timeframes based on our current estimates. We are currently planning for works to start in 2024. Until that point the Seymour Centre will continue to operate as normal before the centre closes to deliver the transformed centre.
Our aim for this project is to:
- Planning application submitted in Spring 2023
- Planning decision received in Summer 2023
- Appoint a contractor (design phase) July 2023
- Complete design phase Summer 2023
- Appoint a contractor (construction phase) in 2023
- Start on site in 2024
- Open the newly refurbished centre in 2026
What will happen to the existing clubs? For example, Badminton Club, Xen-Do Martial Arts, BSAC.
Everyone Active will provide information on alternative spaces in Westminster to the clubs that currently use space in the Seymour Centre. We are committed to giving current users plenty of notice and any support we can to help with the temporary move, and we hope to welcome these clubs back to the refurbished centre when it opens.
We have also held multiple conversations with these clubs about their long-term space requirements, how they can be supported to return to the Seymour Centre once it has been refurbished, and in the short term to find temporary locations for their activities for the construction period. We will be continuing this engagement over the coming months.
Published: 25 November 2022
Last updated: 28 November 2023