Reopening of Forest Hill pools?

This (from the pools website) sounds rather ominous to me:

Following the government announcement that leisure centres may reopen, we have been analysing the safety and financial challenges ahead. The Covid crisis has had a huge financial impact on the sector and UKactive confirmed that projected footfall and income will be significantly down over the next year, whilst operating within the new guidelines.

We know your leisure facilities are really important for your health and well-being and we want them open again as soon as possible, so we hope that you will bear with us during this time. We are working with Lewisham Council to look at the options for a phased return of leisure centre provision. At this stage we will not be opening on the 25th July. However, please be assured, we are working closely with Lewisham Council to continue to assess the situation and will bring you news as soon as possible.

As a registered charity, Fusion is supporting the #SaveLeisure campaign launched by Community Leisure UK urging the UK Government to commit circa £800m relief funding to enable the full reopening and recovery of the public leisure sector. Without this dedicated relief fund a third of all public leisure facilities in the UK may not reopen and half will face permanent closure by the end of the year. To find out more about this campaign and ways you can support, click here.

Please stay tuned for more information, we will be in touch as soon we have an update for you.

Team Fusion


Hmmmmm… this does sound ominous.
I’ve received confirmation from my gym re: reopening with none of the handwringing over finances.
I suspect FHP will shortly announce a rise in their membership or cuts in facilities/classes.

The council at the last Forest Hill assembly announced that there were some structural issues with the building. Perhaps, now would be a good time to repair it rather than re-open it and have to repair it later. It would save money by repairing it while it is empty.


I need my swim. I’m seizing up.

On Twitter earlier today Lewisham announced that Downham Health & Leisure Centre will reopen on Monday but the swimming pool isn’t expected to open until 10th August. No mention of any other leisure centres within the borough so have a horrible feeling that those desperate for a local swim have got a wait ahead of them :disappointed:

Around 1/3 of public leisure centres are not reopening

In part this will be down to the contractual relationship between operators and councils

For example, in Westminster, SLM (the operator) pays the council millions of pounds a year for the privilege of operating the centres

Yet in other parts of the country, councils pay operators a subsidy

Given clubs have been closed for 4 months, that clearly brings up some difficult conversations in either model

Add that to the expectation that footfall, therefore revenue, therefore profit will be down and it’s easy to see why some leisure centres may. It be opening just yet

Not much openness here. I think it would be good if someone - Fusion or the mayor or one of our councillors or a council official - could be more forthcoming about what the precise issues with relation to FH pools are. What are the realistic prospects of it reopening in weeks, rather then months or years? Swimming is virtually the only way in which elderly people like me with increasingly severe arthritis can take serious exercise; I’m having difficulty controlling my weight during the lockdown and worry that my general health is being prejudiced. If FH pools remain closed for a substantial period, I’m not sure what the realistic alternatives will be. for people like me.



Hi @robin.orton - would Brockwell Lido be a temporary alternative option?

I’d agree it would be good to know when it will reopen. I suspect when they do reopen intially it would be without the pool but let’s see.

Earlier this evening I caught the tail end of an interview on BBC News Sportsday with the CEO of GLL . Under the brand Best GLL operate leisure centres for Greenwich, Bromley and many other London councils. They have opened most of the leisure centres in Greenwich today including 4 of them that have pools. They also operate the leisure centre at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and that has opened today too.

So GLL have been able to open the leisure centres and pools in Greenwich while Fusion hasn’t managed to open any for Lewisham!! The one leisure centre in Lewisham that will open on Monday but won’t include the pool is Downham and surprise surprise it isn’t run by Fusion!!

As I said, it’s probably a contractual issue rather than anything else

I supply Fusion, GLL and many other operators. Some contracts have opened up, others haven’t. It’s mostly down to whatever agreement can be made with the local council.

Downham is a totally different case as that is a PFI scheme.

oakr, thanks for the Brockwell Lido suggestion, but it’s 50 minutes away by public transport, which I think is a bit far.

One particular thing it would be good to know is what the implications of the structural problems that EmmaJ has reminded us of .are for the timetable for FH reopening.

@robin.orton How about Crystal Palace National Sports Centre? The 25m training pool has reopened but not the 50m racing pool.

Thanks @CHfigaro. I wondered why Downham was different!

Still no further info on Fusion or Lewisham council websites. I’ve emailed one of our FH ward councillors asking whether they can help.


I drafted a post with further information about this, but apparently what I wanted to say would have required prior approval by the Moderators, so I’ve deleted it, to avoid possible trouble.

Hi @robin.orton - do you mean @moderators here on

I can’t find any records of anything that would have needed approval, but if you want to PM @moderators, we’re happy to help.

1 Like

Have you heard anything? I write to one six months ago, and still waiting. Do we know if they have all remained in good heath during the pandemic?

Have you seen this recent post?

1 Like

No, I haven’t. But I see from another thread (‘Lewisham to award leisure contracts…’) that there is some doubt as to whether Fusion’s contract to run the pools is to be renewed. That no doubt explains why nobody wants to say anything.