FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Greenwich borough

Greenwich leisure centre membership numbers fall 10%

A few weeks ago I covered the ever-increasing numbers of new gyms opening in Greenwich and pondered the effect on the council’s Greenwich Centre. Well, tonight’s Greenwich Council regeneration meeting provides the answer with a 10% fall in membership numbers.

Yet more gyms are opening soon within a three mile radius as covered here.

Despite competition, should the only leisure centre with a pool in the area be suffering losses in an area of such rapid housing growth?

Competition is a big factor here but so is location and access. The centre is located by an awful junction.

 

And for many people moving to new-builds it’s a case of walking or cycling through some very pedestrian unfriendly streets in order to reach the Greenwich Centre.

Cross here from Greenwich Millenium Village to reach the Greenwich Centre

Why not go to the gym that is nearer which may be lacking some facilities but is less awkward to reach?

The finishing touches are being added to an article on how huge sums of money have been received in this area with barely any going towards improving streets.

Much I’ve covered before but some – such as the Sainsbury’s development on Bugsby’s Way bringing over £500k to Greenwich Council for public realm improvements four years ago and still unspent – has not.

Amusingly Greenwich Council have commissioned a report into how to bring about modal shift i.e getting more people walking and cycling. You have to laugh.

The old library which moved to the Greenwich Centre is also still unsold. That’s income Greenwich Council could be utilising. But who would buy it when the public realm outside is so poor?

It’s not all bad news for the borough’s other leisure centres though. They are holding up ok and libraries are doing well.

 

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11 Comments

  1. Jon

    “Anti-competition strategy” is a strange phrase. What does that mean?

  2. JR

    I am worried about the “anti-competition strategy” phase too, very Labour.

    I am part of the problem, I’d been with GLL for a decade and it has a good gym, staff and classes for a decent price. People used to complain about the Arches but would compare it to gyms at double the monthly membership.

    But living so close to the Sainsbury’s Pure it’s crazy not to join it – I can walk it in the same time it’d take me just to wait for a bus to get me from the gym (yes, I’d usually walk but for classes ending at 9.30pm a bus was better). I still use the pool and the library is excellent.

    So I feel a bit guilty but not guilty enough to justify the cost of GLL and the longer time to get there.

    Shame GLL shut down its Charlton Athletic gym use as I’d have probably stayed if that was still going.

  3. “Five privately-operated gyms within a three mile radius” – I wonder if that includes GLL’s own gym at North Greenwich, which may well be cannibalising trade at the Greenwich Centre.

  4. Sue

    I do like the Greenwich Centre facilities but I have to say I’ve stopped going as much. It’s just not convenient and I agree that the walk is horrible along dark, dingy roads with poor crossing access.

    The staff are great there and I like the pool so it is a shame but given the current walk from Chandler’s Avenue on the Peninsula (near the Pilot pub) is so poor I’m out in the words of Dragons Den.

    If I join a gym next year it will be one closer and less frustrating to reach.

    • Jane James

      GLL would do well to install saunas adding another dimension. The Arches sauna was well used but not part of the Greenwich Centre set up? GLL no longer have the cheaper option monopoly, they need to offer more than the competition to encourage membership.

  5. John

    I thought the Greenwich Centre Gym was for the eventual occupiers of Greenwich Square when the final phases are finished.
    The Greenwich Centre started off as fantastic – but its now tatty and dirty. The cafe/computer area is often filled with rowdy teens. However I will continue to use it – there are not many pools around.

  6. Stephanie

    Apart from the parking I nearly always find that when we make the effort to get there there is nearly always swimming lessons on or the pool is about to shut I have never managed more than a 15min swim as you are always being asked to leave

  7. GWEST

    Yes strange wording, “anti-competition strategy”…

    Why would a council-run gym -need- to compete anyway. It is there to provide service. If a private library were set up next to a council one, what’s the problem if its services are not/less needed. Just make appropriate reductions in costs. (or be more inventive linking usage to the pool)

    Personally I would make the long distance trip for the swimming pool because it’s cleaner than wavelengths. So the pool will always remain a selling point.

  8. Dave

    I cancelled my membership for three reasons.

    1. It was expensive. I now attend free running and bootcamp groups.

    2. I didn’t like being kicked out at certain hours because of my gender.

    3. I didn’t think it was well equipped. I.e. only one leg press machine.

  9. Kevin Sweeney

    Well this does not bode well for the planned Gymbrary at Plumstead. At least at Greenwich you have a like for like facility, in Plumstead the loss of the 4 court Sports Centre, with indoor bowls etc to a one court sports hall tacked to the back of a library and computer cafe, (the remarks above about the cafe and computers, is telling). With this facility there is no parking envisaged, so of course people will not come, much as the same with Greenwich. I think the time has come for the Council to seriously review their too close relationship with GLL. Other Boroughs are reviewing new companies to run their facilities, perhaps RBG should.

  10. Kevin Sweeney

    Well this does not bode well for the planned Gymbrary at Plumstead. At least at Greenwich you have a like for like facility compared to the Arches, in Plumstead the loss of the 4 court Sports Centre, with indoor bowls etc to a one court sports hall tacked to the back of a library and computer cafe, (the remarks above about the cafe and computers, is telling). With this facility there is no parking envisaged, so of course people will not come, much as the same with Greenwich. I think the time has come for the Council to seriously review their too close relationship with GLL. Other Boroughs are reviewing new companies to run their facilities, perhaps RBG should.

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