Wimbledon, London
Greenwich Leisure Limited

Boiler plant at the leisure centre

The exterior of the leisure centre


Wimbledon Leisure Centre is operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited for Merton Council. During the last few years, over 1 million has been spent refurbishing the centre and introducing Spa London, which has made Wimbledon into Merton's premier leisure centre. The former sports hall has become a well-equipped gym, and facilities include a 30 m main pool, teaching pool, fitness studio and crèche.

The Leisure Centre originally opened in 1901 and has a long history of providing recreation facilities for the neighbourhood. The centre still has many of its original features, making it a unique setting for the users.


EngDesign Limited were commissioned by GLL to refurbish the plant within Wimbledon Leisure Centre. Many systems were redundant or in urgent need of replacement. The centre had to remain in operation, with minimum shutdown. A two-stage tendering process was adopted, allowing contractor input into the process and a construction period of three months. Overnight works prevented closure of the centre.


Redundant heating plant, equipment and pipework were stripped out. Two of the boilers were relatively new, each rated at 1.2 MW with 100% redundancy, and could be retained. New plate heat exchangers connecting to the existing systems, new pumps, valves, pipeline-mounted strainers and dirt separators were provided, together with a new domestic hot water buffer vessel and plant. This was a smaller, more efficient system using a plate heat exchanger. Pumps with variable speed drives were installed for energy savings. A new Building Management System monitors and controls the plant for maximum efficiency.


The ventilation systems throughout the centre were in poor condition. The Main Pool hall supply air installation used a very old centrifugal fan, purpose-built into the basement and over 50 years old. Air was removed from the Main Pool hall by roof-mounted extract fans, but these were inoperative. A redundant air-handling unit located on the roof fed the roof void above the Main Pool hall. The unit serving the Teaching Pool was the only plant in good condition and which could be retained.

A new Main Pool air-handling unit was installed. Positioning a combined unit in one space allowed heat recovery technology to be used between supply and extracted air streams, reducing running costs and increasing plant efficiency. The new plant now gives the optimum supply and extract ventilation, avoiding condensation problems and saving energy.

EngDesign Ltd, 106-108 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TX +44 (0)20 7357 7223 office@engdesign.co.uk