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Large pipe falls from ceiling into swimming pool at Woolwich Waterfront

Incident in February 2020

You may have noticed that Woolwich leisure centre at the Waterfront was closed last week for emergency repairs.

A video shows what caused that closure, with a substantial piece of pipe running across the ceiling having fallen into the pool below. Fortunately it happened whilst the centre was closed and no members of the public were swimming.

It’s the latest setback for the centre which should have closed and moved to a new site near Woolwich Arsenal station where Wilkos currently trade. The centre lost its car park and has been in poor shape. Membership numbers are down 20 per cent.

In a council meeting last month a Greenwich councillor called the centre “filthy”.

The centre’s operator, Greenwich Leisure Limited (trading as Better) have been contacted for comment.


  1. Graham

    Perhaps Greenwich Council/Greenwich Leisure should cut their losses and close the Waterfront Leisure Centre now in light of the latest incident and falling membership numbers.

    Although Iwouldlike to see more social housing on this site. I am guessing Greenwich Council will sell this site to private developers to raise funds for the new Leisue Centre opposite General Gordon Square.

    If this is the case I hope the new development will be a mixed retail/commercial and housing development consiting of shops and posible cafes/restaurants with housing above. So Hare Street can continue down to the river as planned.

    • Ashley

      Totally agree Graham. They should just cut their losses with this disgraceful place and close it down! Build affordable social housing through Meridian Home start! Or directly funded by the Council. Their is far too many private developments surrounding this plot.

    • Michael Johnson

      I doubt the site at the Waterfront will be sold for social housing. It is prime real estate, and it appears that with the development going on next door, Berkeley Homes may well have first dibs on the Waterfront site and just carry building additional towers on the site. The Riverside building opposite was a lost opportunity for the Council as it could have sold/handed it to Meridian Home Start for social housing.

    • Joan Weston

      It’s very sad that we’re celebrating the closing of the Waterfront for the possibility of yet more housing (flats) in Woolwich. My family stopped using Waterfront due to the lack of parking facilities.

      I understand that there’s a need for public housing in the area but Woolwich is becoming a big housing estate without any recreational space and no where to park unless you can cough up another £60/£70 for the limited spaces available with these new flats.

      Having lived in the area for the last 50 odd years it’s all very saddening.

  2. Gillian Ingate

    The gym is always fairly full whatever time I visit. The pool is rammed during the school holidays. I think this shows the centre is badly needed. Taking away the car park was a criminal act. The Council should be ashamed. Are they really going to close it before even starting work on the new one? What happens to all the money from the endless filming that goes on in the borough? Don’t plead poverty please!

    • Comment by post author


      The plan is not to close before a new one opens – but delays have caused issues with upkeep. Some emergency spending has been authorised. Around £1million if I recall correctly. If the move had been on time that wouldn’t be needed.

      • HK

        What on earth are they repairing for that that amount of money?
        Sounds lke some contractor is rolling in money!

  3. Tom

    That place should be reported to HSE long time ago: the pools are dirty, there are litters everyone and no one bothers to clean them, it’s poorly maintained and probably breached H&S limits on many levels. The falling pipe shows the extend of the horror. Luckily my 5 years old son wasn’t killed during that accident and we are going there every Sunday. What a disgrace to the local Council. It begs for the independent inspection.

  4. Ronald Weaving

    Poor communication of this closure has led to unnecessary visits, as a regular user to the pool, three times a week, I disagree with some of the comments here, it’s the users that make the place filthy, lack of respect. Early Sunday morning I found the best time and cleanest. What happens to the remainder of our pre- booked swims, now that it is closed?

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