Sadiq Khan to fund renovation of beloved London pool after 42,000 locals sign petition

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The centre will undergo significant renovations  (Crystal Palace National Sports Centre)
The centre will undergo significant renovations (Crystal Palace National Sports Centre)

An Olympic-sized swimming pool in Crystal Palace is set to be reopened by Sadiq Khan following public pressure.

The National Sports Centre, in Crystal Palace, has been closed since March 2020 but the Mayor is now expected to give the green light for a “comprehensive renovation”.

The centre, which opened in 1964, also features diving boards, a gym and trampolines.

The pool is said to be where five of Team GB’s 12 diving representatives at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo first trained.

However, it was closed after the first lockdown after serious cracks were identified in its base.

Around 42,000 signed a petition urging the Mayor of London to fund repairs on the site.

Exact funding figures and a timeline for the repairs have not yet been announced, though a spokesperson for the Mayor said he “completely appreciates the frustration of all those who love using the pools”.

They added: “He has asked his team to urgently contract a firm to plan and carry out the necessary renovation works, with the goal of maximising the time the pools are available for use.

“He has asked his team to urgently contract a firm to plan and carry out the necessary renovation works, with the goal of maximising the time the pools are available for use.”

Further consultation on the development plans will be planned in the coming months.

Ellie Reeves, Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge, welcomed the news.

She tweeted: “After a tireless campaign driven by our local community, Sadiq Khan has committed to funding the renovations for the 50m pool and diving pool at Crystal Palace.

“We now must ensure that this is delivered on as soon as possible & get our pools reopened.”

In March 2020, Mr Khan approved a £1m boost to develop the centre.

The last time the National Sports Centre was subject to a survey for major works in 2018, it was believed the cost for repairs could rise as high as £50 million.

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