Specialist engineers and surveyors, with architects Stride Treglown, have identified the scale of refurbishment work to the Rec necessary to secure the building’s long term future. The report recommends a two phase investment strategy which would allow the Rec to keep running for the next five to seven years while the council seeks funding for more extensive refurbishment, estimated to cost between £20m – £45m.
Lambeth council has already earmarked £6m to carry out vital maintenance and repairs to the Rec as Phase 1 and that work could begin early in 2016. The Stride Treglown report examines how space, services and facilities at the Rec could be reconfigured to meet the demand of a wide range of users and best meet the long term needs of our community. It currently gets 750,000 visits a year and with Lambeth’s population set to grow by 10% over the next decade, the Rec needs to have improved disabled access and more flexible use of space, supporting Lambeth’s Sports Facility Strategy.
Among the main findings of the assessment are;
- Additional swimming pool and sports hall provision can be created but the associated cost of structural changes may make that economically unfeasible
- Additional health and fitness provision can be created
- Relocation of some activities within the building could make it more efficient
- Relocation of the entrance to street level would be beneficial
- Large areas of the building have potential for community and commercial use that could reinforce the Rec’s role in the wider community as more than a leisure centre, and generate income
- There is the potential to reduce energy consumption and save around £100,000 a year
Stride Treglown have outlined the impact, benefit and cost of three levels of refurbishment from a ‘Rec Refresh’ estimated at around £20m, a ‘Rec Reboot’ at around £40m and a ‘Rec Plus option requiring a similar level of investment.
The scale of costs to do more than keep the Rec open and operational for the next few years are beyond the council’s means in the current financial climate but the first phase investment of £6m will allow alternative funding options to be explored. It is expected that the council will confirm the allocation of funds to start Phase 1 early next year.
Read the report in full here.
Brixton Rec has been listed by Historic England, documents from the council relating to the application are below: