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LSBU sports centre celebrates million pound makeover

London SE1 website team

London South Bank University's sports centre on London Road has marked the official opening of its new-look facilities after a £1 million makeover backed by Southwark Council.

LSBU sports centre celebrates million pound makeover
Cllr Peter John with LSBU instructor Daniel Walters

Southwark Council leader Peter John last month visited the centre to mark the completion of the project.

The council has given the university £300,000 of section 106 funds from local developments including the King's Reach Tower, Sea Containers House and Ibis Southwark Rose Hotel projects.

As part of the deal, LSBU has committed to making the facilities available to the public for at least 10 years.

The idea that the council should boost public access to the university's sports facilities was first raised when the nearby Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre closed for redevelopment in June 2012.

As well as a much more visible entrance at the corner of London Road and Thomas Doyle Street, the sports centre now has more activity space and room for indoor sports and exercise facilities.

"I am delighted to be opening the new LSBU leisure centre," said Cllr Peter John.

"Our £300,000 investment into its development, through a section 106 agreement, has given our residents greater access to this service to support their fitness and wellbeing and the facility complements our own brand new leisure centre at Elephant & Castle which is set to open next year.

"Southwark Council is committed to delivering more initiatives for improving health within the borough and I hope many people across the community will be encouraged to take up exercise more regularly for generations to come through this fantastic new facility."

Andy Powlesland, director of LSBU's Academy of Sport, said: "The development of a separate external entrance to the university sports centre and the internal space reconfiguration will benefit students, staff and the local community in equal measure.

"The development has created more activity space which then supports a more diverse sporting and exercise offer for our customers. The sports centre is now extremely visible on one of the busiest corners of the campus, and this raised awareness will lead to greater participation.

"It allows for extended opening hours, and supports Sport England's strategy to open up educationally based sports halls to the community."

According to a council report published last year, the LSBU sports centre currently has around 5,000 members and the university hopes to boost this number by about 10 per cent following the refurbishment.

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