Printed Date: 23/01/2018

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge opens the new GLL leisure centre in Kensington

Dutchess is presented with gift by the Mayor

20 January 2015: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in partnership with GLL were proud hosts yesterday (Monday, 19 January), to Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who officially opened the new Kensington Leisure Centre to be operated by GLL, as well as the neighbouring Kensington Aldridge Academy Centre in the Royal Borough.

The new leisure centre and academy stands on the site of the former Kensington Leisure Centre where, during their time at Wetherby School, both their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry took swimming lessons.

Her Royal Highness toured the academy, met Principal David Benson, students and staff, then took a short walk to the leisure centre, which will be run by charitable social enterprise GLL under their ‘Better’ brand and is due to open to the public in March. The Duchess took a tour of the new state-of-the-art sporting facilities and watched a number of physical activities being taken by local primary school children and other community groups. She then attended a reception to meet those involved in the projects and unveiled a plaque to mark her visit to the leisure centre.

“Back in 2011, we decided to redevelop Kensington Leisure Centre as its expansive site gave us the rare opportunity to not only build a new leisure facility but also a much-needed secondary school – the first in North Kensington for a generation,” said Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

“We are greatly honoured that Her Royal Highness has visited us today to see the two flagship buildings that will make such a difference to people of all ages in this community.”

Chris Symons, Director of Development, GLL, said, “We are delighted that Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge came today to officially open the new Kensington Leisure Centre, where we hope she will use and enjoy the facilities on offer when we open in March.

“As a charitable social enterprise, our mission is to help get more people, more active, more often and as a non-profit organisation, we reinvest any financial surplus back into the service. As such, we are very proud to be able to offer top class facilities including new swimming pool, sports hall and squash courts, at an affordable price that is accessible to all of the community.”

The Kensington Leisure Centre is a result of a £29.4m cash injection from the Council. Both the academy and the leisure centre projects represent a £57.4m investment in the area and are part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to regenerating the north of the borough.

To access our background document on the academy and leisure centre scheme click here

Highlights of the new fully accessible leisure centre include:

  • a 25-metre, eight-lane swimming pool for teaching and swimming at all levels
  • 250-seat spectator gallery
  • 20-metre teaching pool with mobile floor
  • 120-station gym
  • eight-court multi-use hall
  • two fitness studios
  • and sauna/steam facilities with treatment rooms.