Greenwich leisure centres cut opening hours as energy bills rise

Leisure centres across Greenwich borough are to see revised opening hours as high energy costs hit operator Greenwich Leisure Limited.

GLL operate under the brand name Better, with centres across the country impacted.

A full list of reduced opening hours in Greenwich borough can be seen here.

Changes at the biggest centres include:


Greenwich Centre
  • Closing at 8.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of 10pm
  • Closing at 4pm on Sundays rather than 5pm


This is the worst hit centre.

Waterfront entrance
  • Opening an hour later at 9am on weekends.
  • Closing an hour earlier on weekends at 5pm.
  • Weekday swimming pool opening an hour later at 7.30am on Wednesday & Thursday
  • Pool closing an hour earlier at 9pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
  • Swimming pool closing 90 minutes earlier at 8.30pm on Wednesday
  • Family Fun Swim no longer running on Fridays 4pm – 7pm though continues on Wednesday evenings and weekend


Eltham Centre off High Street
  • Opens an hour later at 9am on Sundays
  • Closing an hour earlier at 9pm on Fridays
  • Reduced gym and swimming pool programme in line with reduced opening hours
  • Swimming pool opens hour later at 7.30am on Thursday
  • Swimming pool closing 90 minutes earlier at 8.30pm on Monday & Thursday

Other centres also see cuts including Plumstead and Thamesmead.

Compounding higher costs are reduced membership numbers. Long before the pandemic various leisure centres were in decline with double digit annual reductions, in part due to the growth of low cost gyms.

In January 2020 a council report showed Woolwich was down 20 per cent in terms of members in a year.

And they keep coming, with two more gyms planned on Eltham High Street. Some also benefit from 24/7 opening.

In recent weeks I covered latest visitor numbers to council centres, with declines continuing post-pandemic.

Amongst this backdrop the council have approved plans for a new Woolwich leisure centre to replace the Waterfront, though with a 2025 opening its some years behind original plans.

It will also be built as construction cost inflation is extremely high. The hope is it can turn the tide of long term trends in the borough.

In an attempt to encourage people to visit, some special offers at the centres such as a £1 lunchtime swim are on offer.

Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

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Many thanks

J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

2 thoughts on “Greenwich leisure centres cut opening hours as energy bills rise

  • Key problem is that these gyms are uncompetitive. Budget gyms have flooded the area and are typically charging circa £20-25/month. Council gym membership is in excess of £40/month. If the council is going to invest my taxes in these enterprises then it should be done on a commercial basis so that they are profitable. If they aren’t, then they shouldn’t be providing gym services and receycle the money into other activities.

  • Given their grotty external environments and poor internal condition why would people visit Woolwich or Greenwich centres?


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