A picture of the outside of the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington

Have your say on the future of the Sobell Leisure Centre

Islington Council has today (Friday, 26 May) launched a public consultation on plans to transform the Sobell Leisure Centre - and you’re invited to have your say!  

Back in August 2022, a devastating flood destroyed the entire ground floor, including the trampoline park, soft play, ice rink, squash courts, and sports hall, which have all been written off.  

Now, as part of its commitment to creating a more equal borough where everyone can enjoy the physical, mental, and social benefits of exercise, the council is looking to reimagine the facilities on offer so that the Sobell Leisure Centre appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Following a decision at last week’s Executive meeting, the council and GLL – who run the centre on the council’s behalf - are today launching a public consultation on exciting plans to modernise the centre, so that it meets the needs of local people. These could include: 

  • Installing a new active zone, who would create innovative, state-of-the-art facilities that people of all ages can enjoy. This would link with the already-popular trampoline park. 
  • Creating a new baby and toddler zone within the active zone space, alongside a “junior” section.  
  • Building a “ninja warrior” style inflatable and trampoline zone for older children and teenagers.  
  • Upgrading the squash courts and gym.  
  • Creating a new, welcoming café area, with seating.  

From today, local people can provide their thoughts, ideas, and insights on the future of the centre. The public consultation will run for six weeks, ending on Friday, 7 July, and you can take part by filling in the online survey. The survey is also available in all Islington libraries and community centres..  

Cllr Nurullah Turan, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We’re determined to create a more equal Islington, where all our residents can easily enjoy the physical, mental, and social benefits of exercise.  

“We’re determined to support and empower residents of all backgrounds to boost their physical and mental wellbeing by getting active. We also know that too many Islington children suffer from obesity and, as part of our efforts to make a child-friendly borough, we want to introduce fun, welcoming environments for youngsters to stay active. 

“The proposed facilities at the Sobell Leisure Centre are designed to help us achieve these ambitions, and would be a fantastic addition to the borough. If realised, our vision will attract many more Islington residents, who will benefit from the fun, inclusive, active zone, the enlarged boxing area, and the upgrades to the squash courts and gym.  

“Local people are at the heart of everything we do, and we want to hear from you. That’s why we’ve launched a public consultation, which will give you an opportunity to shape the future of the Sobell Leisure Centre by providing your thoughts, ideas, and insights.  

“We want to hear from residents of all ages and backgrounds on the facilities, services, and programmes that you’d like to see – so make sure you have your say before Friday, 7 July.” 

To ensure that the reopened Sobell Leisure Centre meets the needs of the local community while remaining financially secure, the council and GLL have, after much thought, taken the difficult decision to propose not to rebuild the centre’s ice rink, which was condemned following the flood.   

Even before the cost-of-living crisis and rise in energy prices, the ice rink had been making a loss of £250,000 per year. It also served a relatively low number of people – approximately 600 on average per week, compared to 2,000 people per week at the trampoline park - and this number is expected to decrease with the opening of the new state-of-the-art rink at Lee Valley that has doubled in size.   

Furthermore, the council and GLL anticipate that by reusing the space and implementing the other proposals, usage of the Sobell Leisure Centre will rise to 250,000 people per year, with the facilities appealing to a broader demographic than before.   

Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.