Seymour Centre Project FAQs
Find out about the plans for the improvement of the Seymour Centre.
Published: 25 November 2022
Last updated: 25 November 2022
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. jjjk
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.
Why are you notyou looking to enlarge and improve 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 ambulance steps will be added to help people with limited mobility use the pool. The pool lining will also be replaced to prevent leakage.
It is energy inefficient to heat the 30m pool. Reducing the length to 25m, in line with Sport England standards, will take less time to heat the pool and be more efficient, supporting our efforts to achieve net carbon zero.
The width of the pool remains under review, and we are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we can maximise this. We know this is an important point for current swimmers. We want to do everything we can to make the pool as wide as possible without sacrificing the essential accessibility improvements we want to make.
How would 'Village Change' work? Would men and women change together in one room?
Village Change intends all change to happen in the privacy of the single, double or group cubicles provided and not in the locker area. The communal showers are for washing off chlorine while still in a swimming costume, while a small number of private cubicle showers will be provided for people who wish to have a more thorough wash.
Village Change uses space more efficiently than changing rooms split by gender, allowing us to provide more changing areas.
We are reviewing the changing facilities in response to feedback to ensure we design a space (or spaces) that are private and comfortable for centre users and meet their needs.
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 25m, 4-lane main pool (1.2m – 1.8m deep)
- 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
- a new double height soft play facility
- study space, including public computers
- buggy storage
- a refreshments area next to the soft play with vending machines for snacks and drinks and facilities to prepare food and milk for small children
- 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. However, our aim for this project is to:
- submit a planning application in Winter 2022
- receive a planning decision in Spring 2023
- start on site in 2024
- Open the newly refurbished centre in mid-2025
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.