Southwark Council is poised to allocate £100,000 of Olympic legacy funding towards the completion of Fisher FC’s new ground on the St Paul’s Playing Field site.

From the council report:

St. Paul’s Sports Ground in Salter Road, Rotherhithe is home to a derelict artificial sports pitch.

Fairview Homes are proposing to invest in St. Paul’s to offset the loss of sports facilities at the old Fisher Stadium which will be converted to a 3 acre public park. The St. Paul’s site will become the new home of Fisher FC who will deliver a community focused sports development plan.

Fisher FC, supported by the council and Fairview are making applications for Football Foundation monies totaling £200,000 towards the cost of adding a club house and other facilities to the site. This would bring it up to the standard expected for league games to be played there, enabling Fisher to stage their home fixtures at this location. A further £300,000 will be required to complete these works.

A contribution of £100,000 of legacy fund monies from the Council will increase the chances of securing the Football Foundation funding as well as other potential S106 match funding and external monies to complete these additional works.

Southwark Council says that it is in early discussions with the owners of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Harmsworth Quays over plans for a new leisure centre at Canada Water.

In the meantime the council says it will carry out ‘essential repairs and maintenance’ at the existing Seven Islands Leisure Centre.

“I’m delighted that we are in early discussions with British Land about providing a new leisure offer as part of their emerging plans for the area,” said Cllr Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for public health, parks and leisure.

“It is also fantastic to be able to announce these improvement works for the existing centre. I’m sure it will all be an exciting prospect for residents in the area, especially as we look to introduce free gym and swim access for local people.”

Councillors first publicly mooted the possibility of a new leisure centre linked to the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays last November.

This week a Southwark Council planning sub-committee approved plans to rebuild the athletics facilities at Southwark Park.

“It was great to see planning permission granted for the reinstatement of the athletics track and field at Southwark Park this week,” said Cllr Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for public health, parks and leisure.

“This is the first phase in an exciting project that will allow us for the first time in many years to deliver a full programme of athletics activities in Southwark – including track and field events such as sprinting, triple jump and javelin.

“I’m sure it will be welcomed by users of the park, budding athletes and local schools from all over the borough.”


The Arch Climbing Wall has announced that it has found a new home within the Biscuit Factory complex as the redevelopment of the site draws near.

“With the original Biscuit Factory site, we were able to bring a new level of indoor bouldering to London and the South,” said Fred Stone, director of The Arch Climbing Wall.

“With Building One, we’re looking forward to doing the same again, only this time in a long term home, combining new climbing facilities unlike anything else, with an updated design style and atmosphere that will recapture some of the history of the building.

“Each of the new climbing centre builds so far has been a learning experience, and we’re looking forward to putting it all together here. This year has been an exciting one for all of us, and there are still lots of good things to come.”

Full details on the Arch Climbing Wall website.

Southwark councillors have approved plans for a new home for Fisher FC at the St Paul’s Playing Field in Salter Road.

The new facilities will include a new artificial grass 3G surface, a new clubhouse and changing rooms as well as two 150-seat spectators’ stands.

Fisher FC traces its roots in Bermondsey back to 1908. The club has a chequered financial history and for the past decade it has shared Champion Hill Stadium with Dulwich Hamlet FC.

Ben Westmancott, chairman of Fisher FC, explained how the club has been reborn since 2009 as a community-owned not-for-profit enterprise and urged councillors to approve the scheme.

The proposals for Fisher’s new ground are linked to plans by Fairview New Homes to build 103 homes on the site of the old Surrey Docks Stadium. The scheme includes 33 affordable homes.

The housing scheme is designed by Hawkins/Brown architects.

Fairview will provide £500,000 towards Fisher’s new facilities.

Both planning applications were approved unanimously by Southwark’s planning committee on Tuesday night.

“This is going to be a very welcome development,” said Surrey Docks ward councillor David Hubber.

Stephen Gough, development director of Fairview New Homes, said that work could start on site later this year.

Southwark Council has revealed more details of the proposed revamp of the athletics track at Southwark Park.

The proposals to be put forward will include reinstating the athletics track and creating a grassed central pitch to enable, for the first time, a full programme of athletics activities to be delivered for people of all abilities.

Activities will include:

  • Six lane Athletics Track with eight lane 100m straight
  • Long/Triple Jump
  • High jump
  • Pole Vault
  • Hammer/Discus cage
  • Shot put
  • Javelin

The proposal also includes plans to amend the boundary of the sports facility to provide additional land for users of the park.

Funding has also been confirmed for the refurbishment of the park’s pavilion. A public consultation and design development will take place over the next few months.

Councillor Veronica Ward, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Sport and Volunteering said: “This is a really exciting step for Southwark, and especially for users of Southwark Park and local athletes as a part of our Olympic and Paralympic Legacy. We also hope that the refurbished pavilion will provide facilities to support the athletics development, as well as changing rooms, toilets and refreshment facilities for the benefit of park users.”

Last month the new London City Athletics Club held its launch event – a 10k run – in the park.



Southwark residents will be able to use the swimming pool and gym at a ‘refreshed’ Seven Islands Leisure Centre for free if a Labour administration is re-elected in May.

“Helping people in Southwark to lead healthy and active lives is one of Labour’s top priorities and our pledge to deliver free swimming and gym use to all Southwark residents will make it easier for people in the borough to get fit and healthy,” said Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Labour.

“This ground-breaking pledge will make a real difference to Southwark residents.

“I recognise that we will be implementing this proposal against a tough economic backdrop, but I believe that it must be an absolute priority of the council to help people in Southwark lead healthy lives.”

Labour says it will review how leisure is funded in Southwark, looking across the board at the structure of the council’s fees and charges, including how users from outside the borough are charged for council leisure centres.

Southwark’s leisure centres are managed and operated by Fusion whose contract is due to come to an end in 2016.

In neighbouring Lambeth the Labour Party made a similar pledge to offer free swimming at the 2010 borough elections but later backtracked on the promise, blaming central Government funding cuts.

Southwark Lib Dems recently unveiled a manifesto commitment to rebuild the Southwark Park Lido if they win back control of the borough in May.

There’s been a lot of political argy-bargy between Labour and the Lib Dems about future plans for Southwark Park’s athletics track in recent months.

This week the (Labour) cabinet approved the borough’s updated capital programme which includes £2.63 million for works at the track.

Here’s what the report to cabinet says:

Investment is requested for the refurbishment of the existing building at Southwark Park Sports Complex to provide suitable changing and ancillary facilities to support athletics development and the needs of Southwark Park users. The facility is currently in poor condition both internally and externally, and does not deliver in terms of what would be expected of a community sports facility.

Usage figures of this facility are dropping. In the first quarter of 2013 only 95 attendances were recorded.

External funding has been secured for the refurbishment of the athletics facilities (track and field), and the building refurbishment will compliment this by providing quality supporting facilities. The site, following investment, will focus on grass- roots athletics and the development of a Southwark athletics club. Sports development activities will be led by Southwark’s Athletics Activator. There is also an aspiration for the facility to deliver a disability sports programme. Overall £3m will be required of which £370k has already been allocated as part of the OLF programme.

Funding will enable the delivery of a refurbished pavilion including changing facilities for athletics and for sport in the park, specialist athletics coaching facilities and a small gym focusing on support athletics training.