New plans show how the Finsbury Leisure Centre site will transform the lives of hundreds of people waiting for a council home, in the biggest investment in the area’s public services for a generation.

The ageing leisure centre would make way for 100 new council homes – with 98 more homes for sale to help pay for them – a brand-new leisure centre, an NHS GP surgery and safer, greener streets and public spaces, under proposals from Islington Council.

Today’s designs come after hundreds of people shared their views on the council’s outline proposals earlier this year, with feedback helping to shape the updated designs.

The designs, which focus on sustainability and accessibility, include:

High-quality, low-carbon council homes. Designed with families and wheelchair users in mind, prioritised for local people and built to high environmental standards with solar panels, air source heat pumps and green, plant-covered roofs.
A first-class leisure centre. With all the same facilities re-provided to a higher spec, alongside much better equipment and changing facilities – including four rooftop 5/6-a-side football pitches with a spectator area and stunning views of London’s skyline.
A new, bigger home for the NHS City Road Medical Centre. Providing modern, accessible facilities and space to expand as the local community grows.
Safer, greener public spaces. A new courtyard garden that’s open to everyone during the day, with new trees, wildlife-friendly planting, a playground and space to relax and recharge. New planting, better-lit streets, more cycle parking and ‘play on the way’ features for children will also transform the area around the new buildings.
Changes to the earlier proposals based on residents’ and leisure centre users’ feedback include replacing a proposed cafe with a larger family-sized council home, opening the new courtyard garden to everyone during the day, and including group changing rooms for schools and other groups in the new leisure centre.

The scheme is part of the council’s plan to build more than 750 badly needed new council homes across the borough, on top of the 734 already built or started since 2009.

Councillor Una O’Halloran, Executive Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, said: “With more than 15,000 people waiting for a council home in Islington and a leisure centre that’s well past its best, we’re taking action to create a more equal Islington.

“This project will deliver the decent, affordable homes, better health and leisure facilities and beautiful outdoor spaces local people deserve. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the site and I’m excited to share these fantastic designs which have sustainability, accessibility and community at their heart.

“The feedback shared earlier this year, and going all the way back to 2017, has been really important to the design process and we’ll be holding three public exhibitions where you can see the updated designs in detail – I hope you’ll join one.”

The council is holding three events to share its updated designs with the local community before it submits a planning application this summer.

Saturday 13 July, 10am-2pm, St Luke’s Community Centre, EC1V 8AJ
Tuesday 16 July, 3-7pm, Vibast Community Centre, EC1V 9NH
Thursday 18 July, 1.30-5.30pm, Finsbury Leisure Centre, EC1V 3PU
Subject to planning permission, work will start on site in summer 2025 and take two to three years to complete. Residents can find out more about the council’s plans and view the designs online.

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