Sports centre reopens after £17m Olympic’ makeover

PUBLISHED: 17:11 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 12 August 2010

SPORTS ARENA: Plenty of seats for the spectators.

SPORTS ARENA: Plenty of seats for the spectators.

THESE pictures show the first glimpse of a national sports centre that opens its doors next week after a £17 million makeover.

PORTHOLE VIEW: The new swimming pool.

THESE pictures show the first glimpse of a national sports centre that opens its doors next week after a £17 million makeover.

The National Sports Centre (NSC) in Crystal Palace Park was closed in September 2007 after asbestos was found in the Grade II listed building.

The London Development Agency (LDA) has since spent millions on the building over the last 19 months to remove the asbestos throughout the building and improve sports facilities.

A massive re-plumbing and re-wiring of the building has also taken place to ensure health and safety requirements are in place.

A Tetrathlon is due to take place this weekend to celebrate the refurbishment ahead of its opening to the public next Thursday. The new facilities include a longer swimming pool to meet international standards, adding Olympic standard starting blocks, electronic touch pads, a new timing system and scoreboard.

The diving pool has also been refurbished including repairs to the Grade I listed diving board structure.

The floor of the arena and its seating has been replaced and changing rooms and exercise studios have been upgraded.

Insulation has been improved, roof joints and windows have been repaired and the lighting and fire alarm systems have been renewed. A further phase of works costing more than £5 million is planned to take place over the next five years.

The LDA took over the site from Sports England as part of London's bid to win the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, formally taking over the lease in March 2006.

The centre, which will cost the LDA £2 million a year to run, has facilities for more than 100 sports which are managed by not-for-profit organisation Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

The Crystal Palace Park masterplan, which included proposals to raise the level of the park to revitalise the stadium, create a Park visitor Information Centre as well as moving the caravan park, building flats and building a dry sports venue and children's play area was approved by Bromley council.

However, the proposals, that received objections from residents, was called in in December by the Communities and Local Government Department and a public inquiry is due to take place in July.

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