Acton Town Hall regeneration and new community facilities
The Acton Town Hall regeneration project is well underway. New and improved leisure, library, community and civic facilities will be provided when the project is complete in March 2014.
There will be a new eight-lane, 25-metre swimming pool and a smaller training pool with a moveable floor, which will improve access for disabled people. There will also be new changing rooms along with council offices for staff working in adults, children and family services.
The first floor will be home to a new glass-fronted gym, larger than the previous one. Like other council gyms, it will operate at rates typically more affordable than most private gyms. Two new studios for fitness and dance classes, along with new changing rooms will also be provided. A new library and IT training suite will be located in what is currently the assembly hall.
The existing library will continue to operate from its current location until the new centre is ready. The old library building will then be sold to help fund the improvements.
The second floor will have council offices and space for adults, children and families services, including day care facilities, therapy rooms and drop-in services. Community rooms of different sizes will be available for hire. Local groups will also be able to use the meeting rooms in the council offices at evenings and weekends if they are not in use.
Retaining our local heritage
Demolition work at the Acton Baths and the Kings Rooms is now complete. The historical façade of the Kings Rooms has been retained and equipment has been put in place to protect it during the works.
Willmott Dixon Construction has salvaged around 3000 bricks from the demolition. These bricks will be re-used in the new construction to help retain and match the original design of the Kings Rooms.
The top parts of the internal columns (the capitals) have also been salvaged. These ornamental capitals depict ships and are of high heritage value. From mid-April they will be temporarily displayed at Acton Library. They may eventually be housed in a museum, though the preference is that they are given an appropriate place in the new development.
The listed chimney will also remain. It has been provided with temporary props, monitoring equipment and special working zone to protect this heritage asset.
Several subcontractors, including Milroy, are working on the site. Milroy are providing specialist fibrous plastering services, which are improving the feature ceiling in the Assembly Hall, whilst keeping its traditional design and appeal intact.
Internal demolition and new foundation works have been carried out at the Acton Town Hall extension and will help facilitate the fitting-out stage of the project. Much of the structure will remain intact, though the wall behind the stage will be demolished to create a link to the new centre when completed.
Mifflin Construction will soon be installing steel columns, beams and precast stairs and floors throughout the site.
Pool specialists Aqua Process will shortly start installing pipework underneath the pool areas. These pipes will draw water away from the pool for recycling through a filtration system in addition to delivering clean water to the pools.
S&P Architects and EC Harris have made good progress with the internal design proposals for the centre. These plans include proposals for the internal finishes and colour schemes for different areas throughout the centre.
Acton Town Hall disposal
The remainder of Acton Town Hall is being sold for residential use subject to planning, and following a disposal process the council is in discussion with One Housing Group to take forward development of this building.
Acton Library disposal
The current Grade 2 listed Acton Library building will be disposed of with vacant possession next year. The council will shortly commence plans to dispose of this for uses that will help activate and revitalise the town centre.
The project’s highest volume of site traffic will be around April. There are twenty lorries taking rubble away each day and three concrete wagons visiting the site every other day. During April steel and precast planks will be delivered three times a day. However, towards the end of April site traffic will decrease as excavation works are completed.
Lorries are avoiding peak times between 8am and 9am, and 3pm and 4pm. Deliveries are also split between the entrance on Salisbury Street and Acton High Street to mitigate the impact on local traffic.
What are the key dates for the project?
|Planning application submitted||Achieved in December 2011
|Refurbishment and demolition surveys
||Achieved in March 2012
|Planning consents granted
||Achieved in April 2012
|Stage E design complete
||Achieved in May 2012
|Stage F starts
||Achieved in May 2012
|Temporary supply installations complete
||Achieved in October 2012
|Demolition of Baths and Kings Rooms
||Achieved in February 2013|
|Construction stages starts
|Construction complete for new centre providing leisure, pools, library, community space and council offices||March 2014
Why is the regeneration needed?
The regeneration of the site is needed because the population of Acton has grown since the late 1800s when the buildings were built. All of the buildings needed significant repairs and had very high maintenance costs. The regeneration of the site allows for new modern facilities to be provided.
Over 30 local people formed the Acton Town Hall Team in 2009. They worked with the council through a series of five workshops to explore opportunities for change on the site. The council met with them at various stages of the project.
Advice from council’s property advisors
In 2010 the council’s property advisers Cushman and Wakefield gave recommendations for how the regeneration should be taken forward to deliver new facilities at minimum cost to the council, whilst also preserving the site’s heritage assets. Information gathered from the Acton Town Hall team’s workshop was also incorporated.
Project team, consultation and design drawings
A project team was formed in September 2010. S&P Architects were selected due to their expertise in designing leisure centres. They were also involved in designing the new Northolt Leisure Centre, which opened in January 2010.
In November 2010 the project team liaised with community groups and council service providers to identify their needs and space requirements. This led to a set of initial options that were consulted on in March 2011.
Option five was selected for further work. Detailed design drawings were then produced showing what the new centre might look like, including room sizes, layouts and an idea of the external appearance. Five public meetings were held in July 2011 at which people were able to view the drawings, meet the project team and tell them what they thought about the proposals.
Further consultation took place with stakeholders before planning applications were submitted in December 2011. The relevant consents (listed building and conservation area consents), were granted by the Secretary of State in April 2012 for the new community and leisure facilities.
Other matters regarding the site:
Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
Cabinet agreed to adopt the SPD as material consideration in June 2011, following a consultation period earlier that year on a draft version.
The SPD clarifies the council’s planning requirements and helps in the development of the site, giving greater certainty to prospective developers. It also gives guidance on important issues such as transport planning and conservation considerations.
We would like to thank all residents and businesses for their support and patience throughout the project. Every effort is being made to minimise the disturbance and we hope you’ll agree the new and improved leisure, library community and civic facilities will be well worth the effort.
For more information please contact:
Tel: (020) 8825 9234
Pages in Acton
- Town centre regeneration programme background documents
- You are here: Acton Town Hall regeneration and new community facilities
- Acton Town Centre public realm improvements
- English Heritage approved funding for Acton