Council confirms £22m from One The Elephant will pay for leisure centre

7 March 2017

Final figures have been released around the sale of a brand new building at Elephant and Castle – and the council will get £22m, more than enough to pay for The Castle leisure centre.

One The Elephant is a landmark, 37-storey building standing on the southern junction at the Elephant and Castle and built by developers Lendlease as part of the overall regeneration of the area.

As part of the deal with Lendlease, Southwark Council agreed not to demand affordable housing on the site but instead take a share of the profits (overage) to pay for a new, much-needed leisure centre for the community.

Originally the deal was expected to raise around £12.5m to go towards payment of the new leisure centre. But between the sale of the land, Section 106 agreements and the overage amount, Southwark Council has not only received enough to pay for the entire  £20m leisure centre, but an extra £2m that will be added to the council’s budget for building new council homes in the area.

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “The pool at the old leisure centre was out of action since the mid-1990s and the rest of the centre was on its last legs. With local people crying out for a new pool and leisure centre, we decided that the best way to ensure local people benefitted from the development was to agree the profit share, with the funds going directly to pay for the much needed new leisure centre.

“It’s now fantastic to see The Castle Leisure Centre open with so many people using and enjoying this public facility. The agreement we made with Lendlease for One The Elephant was based on the same principles as our agreement with them on the former Heygate site development, and it clearly paid off as we not only covered the costs of our new centre, but have additional funds to help us build new council homes in the Elephant and Castle area.”

The state-of-the-Castle Leisure Centre opened in April 2016. Since it opened the Castle has seen:

  • Nearly 200,000 visitors since opening
  • Number of people taking advantage of FSG at the Castle since it opened- 17,221 people registered on Free Swim and Gym, around 43,615 visits
  • Nearly 2000 Gym Members
  • Over 500 children on swimming lessons
  • 3600 children aged 15 and under registered on the council’s free swim and gym scheme
  • Over 1500 disabled residents registered on the scheme

The Castle Leisure Centre and One The Elephant form an integral part of the St Mary’s Quarter one of the first phases to be completed in the Elephant and Castle town centre. When complete later this year, 179 affordable homes, and 562 homes for sale will have been built together with the leisure centre, new public realm with water features, children’s play ground, re-landscaped park, business and retail accommodation together with a new theatre for Southwark Playhouse.
The scheme also contributed additional benefits such as over £2m for TfL’s road improvement work to create a peninsula outside the Northern Line station and employed 140 Southwark residents - 61 of these were previously unemployed and of those 61 previously unemployed local residents, 34 went on to achieve six months sustained employment.

Page last updated: 07 March 2017