News

Finchley leisure centre built in 1996 ‘not fit for purpose’

Finchley Lido Leisure Centre said to have had defects in its construction and will now be redeveloped
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Finchley Lido Leisure Centre (credit Google)
Finchley Lido Leisure Centre (credit Google)

A leisure centre that was built in North Finchley in the mid-1990s could be redeveloped as it is “near the end of its life”.

Barnet Council has launched a consultation on plans to replace the “ageing” Finchley Lido Leisure Centre – which opened in 1996 at Great North Leisure Park – with a “modern and more sustainable facility”.

According to the council, the existing building restricts its ability “to deliver wider aspirations to create a more active and healthy borough, whilst offering a full family-friendly and inclusive experience”.

The leisure centre, which is run by Better on behalf of the council, features three pools, a gym, studios and a sauna. In 2019, the indoor pool was closed so that extensive repair work could be carried out on structural defects found in the roof. It later emerged that materials in the roof appeared not to have been properly protected during the building’s construction.

Barnet Council’s draft Local Plan identifies Great North Leisure Park as having the potential for “comprehensive or infill residential development”. The current owner, property giant Landsec, is promoting the site for redevelopment and claims it could provide around 800 homes.

As the site’s lease is being sold, the council is considering relocating the leisure centre to North Finchley town centre, which is also set to undergo major redevelopment. Other options under consideration are refurbishing or redeveloping the existing building.

Ross Houston, the council’s deputy leader and chair of the housing and growth committee, said no decision had yet been made on the centre’s future. He added: “Unfortunately, the existing lido building is near its end of life and not fit for purpose long-term. It needs replacing with more modern, more sustainable options put in place.”

The consultation on the future of the leisure centre, which includes two community feedback sessions in North Finchley, will run until 23rd January.

Residents can find out more details about the proposals and have their say by visiting: https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/finchley-lido-leisure-centre-engagement


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