Britannia site

The plans for the Britannia Leisure Centre site in Shoreditch will provide a brand new leisure centre, a new secondary school and housing.

The project so far

Our timeline shows the work we've done so far, including our engagement events, announcements, design elements and a look at what's to come.


We did a feasibility study in summer 2016 to look at options for the Britannia site, exploring whether it was possible to replace the outdated leisure centre with a new one, build a new secondary school, and provide private housing to pay for some of the cost of these community facilities, as well as some affordable homes, all on the Council-owned land on that site. It was followed by a 10-week consultation process on the proposed scheme and the feasible options, with the favoured option presented to Cabinet on 19 April 2017 when we were given approval to proceed.

See the full report to Cabinet, including the rationale for the project, and supporting documents:

As the Council doesn't have the money available to fully fund a new school and leisure facilities, we're proposing building around 400 private for sale homes on the site, the proceeds from which will part fund the new school, leisure centre and approximately 80 affordable homes. We're anticipating receiving some funding from the Education Funding Agency towards the cost of building the secondary school, but not all that we need to build it to the same quality as our existing secondary estate.

The Academy will provide 900 places for pupils aged 11-16, and have a 200 place sixth form. We're expecting it to move to this site in the academic year 2020-21.

Find out more about how the Council is providing school places across the borough.

Pre-app planning committee meeting

The project team presented the scheme to a pre-application meeting on 13 February to discuss the Britannia development. This was the second pre-application meeting held with the planning committee.

The pre-application process gives the project team an early opportunity to present the proposals for the final planning application to members of the planning committee. The process allows councillors to feed into the project at an early stage and raise any questions or concerns that can then be addressed by the project team.

We didn't make any decisions at this meeting and any subsequent application will go through the full planning committee process once it's submitted.

Environmental impact assessment

In order to submit a planning application, we compiled an environmental impact assessment (EIA) scoping report in November, looking at the effects and environmental implications of the project, and enabling us to establish what further information we would need to assess the project. The final EIA will be submitted as part of the planning application in the spring. 

The scoping report has been made available on Islington Council's planning portal as the project is close to the borough boundary, and you can also see it on our planning portal. Search for Hyde Road in the address search box. You can find the EIA scoping report in the documents section of the Britannia project.

The new leisure centre

    The existing Britannia Leisure Centre was built in two stages in the 1970s and 1980s and is now coming to the end of its life. Despite small scale refurbishments, the cost of fully refurbishing the centre would be at least £14m and would require it to close for 18-24 months. We want to build a new leisure centre, which we expect to include, as a minimum:

    • 25m main swimming pool
    • new learner pool
    • confidence pool (targeted at 0-5 year-olds) with flume
    • children's soft play area
    • 4 Squash courts
    • fitness suite
    • spinning studio
    • exercise studios
    • sports hall
    • multi-use games area on the roof, including tennis courts
    • a café and toilets (which will also serve Shoreditch Park users)

    The existing Britannia Leisure Centre will only be decommissioned once the new leisure facilities is up and running. 


    We held an exhibition to showcase our progress on the proposals for the leisure element of the Britannia project, from 29 November to 2 December (manned) and 4 December to 9 December (unmanned).

    The architects

    Since approval was granted, good progress has been made. Following a thorough tendering process we've appointed two award winning architecture teams and we're confident that they understand the aims, needs and sensitivities of the project.

    Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio will work on the masterplan for the whole site, including the housing, school and public open space. They are highly experienced in this field, having worked with Councils across London on high quality schemes, gaining national and international recognition for their community focused projects. They're pioneers in sustainable design, and their commitment to sustainability was one of the commitments which most impressed us.

    Faulkner Brown Architects will be designing the new state-of-the-art Britannia Leisure Centre. Their previous work includes the Lee Valley White Water Centre, the Derby Arena (a cycling velodrome and mixed use centre), Nottingham Ice Centre and numerous other world-class sports and leisure facilities.

    Community workshops

    In July 2017 we ran a series of community workshops for local residents and groups. There were four events which focused on the masterplan, public realm, delivering new homes and a school and new leisure facilities which were attended by over 35 people.

    During these events, residents met and discussed the initial proposals for the site with the project architects and gave their feedback and ideas on a range of issues from design of the streetscape, facilities within the leisure centre, how to integrate the new homes into the wider area and community amenities.

    What happens next?

    We're developing plans with the architects and will be taking into account residents' feedback from the workshops.

    We'll also be speaking to the wider community at a series of consultation meetings and drop-ins over the coming months. If you would like to receive further information on this please email


    • Summer 2017 - consultation programme starts
    • September 2017 - secondary school opens at temporary site
    • Spring 2018 - planning application expected to be submitted
    • June 2019 - construction expected to start

    Page updated: 21/02/2018 14:31:59