The UK’s largest swim club, Ealing Swimming Club is concerned about what the future holds when Gurnell Leisure Centre is due to be closed down to start refurbishments in September 2018, lasting for two years. Ealing Council is investing an estimated £37.7m and will include a 10 lane 50 metre pool, a cafe, a larger fitness gym and more facilities. Many see this as an exciting new project, but for Ealing Swimming Club this will mean moving hundreds of members to other pools in West London.

With more than 400 members swimming weekly it is clear to see that shutting down Gurnell will have a huge impact on the club. An ESC volunteer said “we ourselves don’t know what will happen” and “it might take a while to get back to how it was before”. Coaches, lifeguards, and parents are all concerned about what the future holds for the club, however with little information about the plans, it is unclear what will happen. In response, Ealing Council has admitted that the project “will create many short term challenges” but has also said it will “bring many exciting long term opportunities for the club”. However ESC still has many concerns and are hoping that in two years time the facilities will be massively improved and that it will encourage many more members to join.  

Phoebe Lovell, a member of ESC who swims three times a week at Gurnell said “I don't know whether I will continue to swim with the club both during and after the redevelopment.” Moving members to other pools may cause serious disruption to many families. They will most likely have to travel much further distances which will affect their daily routines. 

A meeting for the general public and members of Ealing Swimming Club is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 21st March to discuss the updates on the matter.

Elspeth Singleton, The Green School For Girls