Crystal Palace’s 50m and diving pools are set to receive vital repairs, after Sadiq Khan agreed to fund a “comprehensive” renovation of the National Sports Centre.

More than 40,000 people signed a petition calling for the pools to be reopened, after they were closed in March 2020 when a structural issue with the 60-year-old listed building was identified.

The Mayor has announced that firms capable of carrying out the works, which are expected to cost more than £30 million, are now being approached.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor is committed to the comprehensive renovation of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre so that it can be brought safely back into full use as soon as possible and deliver positive sporting, community, health and wellbeing outcomes for Londoners.

“Sadiq completely appreciates the frustration of all those who love using the pools and has asked his team to urgently contract a firm to plan and carry out the necessary renovation works, with the goal of maximising the time the pools are available for use.

“The National Sports Centre is a hugely important sporting and community facility for the capital and this decision will secure its future for decades to come.

“Further consultation on the development plans will be planned for the coming months, to ensure the local community, centre users and key stakeholders can fully input their views.

“This will build on the previous engagement work done to date and ensure the vision for the centre captures local aspirations.”

Ellie Reeves, MP for Lewisham and Penge East, welcomed the news, having written to Sadiq Khan on multiple occasions regarding the issue, which she also raised in Parliament.

She said: “After a tireless campaign driven by our wonderful local community, Sadiq Khan has committed to funding the renovations for the 50m pool and diving pool at Crystal Palace.

“We now must ensure that this is delivered on as soon as possible & get our pools reopened.”

Swim England also put its weight behind the campaign, stressing the importance of the sports centre, which is one of just two facilities in London that caters for elite swimmers, divers, and water polo players.

Greenwich Leisure Limited, which runs the centre, has worked with the Greater London Authority to find a solution since the closure.

The costs and level of repair work required were found to be significantly more than expected due to unforeseen scale and complexity.

A leak in the pool was traced to a cracked underwater window.

In March, the Mayor approved expenditure of up to £550,000 in order to carry out essential maintenance work at the National Sports Centre over the next two years, including work to the stadium.

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