Council seizes opportunity for major improvements to Plymouth Life Centre

Major improvements are to be made at the Plymouth Life Centre while it undergoes remedial works, under plans set to be agreed by the City Council.

Additional works that will improve facilities for centre users will be carried out while the centre is closed.

The works have been approved in an executive decision approved by Council Leader Tudor Evans, who visited the site alongside Deputy Leader Councillor Pete Smith this week to oversee progress on the ongoing remedial works ahead of the planned reopening in early spring 2021.

The additional works will be carried out while the venue is closed, minimising disruption to users and ultimately delivering an improved facility for future generations to enjoy.

They will reflect the latest standards in the ever-evolving fitness sector, valuable feedback from the Life Centre’s many network groups and members, the latest standards to increase COVID safety, carbon reduction and improving the overall customer experience.

The improvements include:

  • Upgraded ventilation and air conditioning systems in response to the impact of COVID-19
  • Upgraded LED lighting in pool and changing areas
  • Replacement of all cubicles and lockers in male and female gym changing areas
  • Installation of pool hoists to improve accessibility for disabled visitors
  • Creation of a new yoga studio 


Council Leader, Tudor Evans, said: “We are seeing really substantial progress in the work at the Life Centre. It was always our intention to get in, get the work done and get the centre open again so that people can get back to the sports and activities they enjoy. We have given the green light for additional enhancement works to commence, these will extend the life cycle of the centre and ensure first-class facilities for visitors, for years to come.

“Everyone is working very hard to remain on schedule to get this iconic regional and national venue delivered back to the people of Plymouth by early spring 2021. I thank the members and sports groups for their support and patience while the centre undergoes works.”

Deputy Leader, Pete Smith said; “While Plymouth Life Centre remains closed with ongoing works, now is the correct time to progress with these significant enhancements that reflect the needs of centre members and sports groups. The additional works will not delay the reopening, and will avoid any inconvenience associated with doing them in the foreseeable future.

“When the Life Centre opened in 2012 a fund was set up to support life-cycle maintenance works that reflect the usage and uptake of users in order to preserve, and indeed extend, the life span and legacy of the venue. This is the ideal opportunity to utilise these funds to help deliver facilities that will appeal to existing and future members.

“The refurbishments are in addition to the works being undertaken by Balfour Beatty and will ensure the centre remains among the best in the UK. These improvements will focus on a range of areas, including greater accessibility to leisure for disabled members, responding to the rise in popularity for activities such as yoga and meeting the demands of operating a significant leisure asset in a COVID environment.”

Matthew Ashwell, Commercial Director for Balfour Beatty, said: “We have been working collaboratively with the Council to ensure the works are progressing in line with our programme. We have engaged a number of local sub-contractors to deliver this important scope of works, helping us to give back to the local community.”

The enhancements works, approved by executive decision which could be subject to call in, will be funded via the accumulation of the Capital Programme and Life Centre Maintenance Fund that was established for works of this nature in 2012.

Members of Plymouth Life Centre can access gym, group fitness classes and swimming at Brickfields Sports Centre and Plympton Swimming Pool while the centre is closed. For more information, please visit