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Big plans in the works for Kingsmead Leisure Centre

Plans are underway to transform Canterbury’s Kingsmead Leisure Centre with more space, more facilities and more services for its community.

Active Life, a registered charity, is investing £8m into the centre to build brand new areas including gyms, studios and health suites. Extensive work will also make dramatic improvements to the swimming pool and sports hall to create a bigger, better experience for all.

Working in partnership with Canterbury City Council, Active Life submitted a planning application in April 2022 to revamp Kingsmead Leisure Centre.

The plans include a new entrance foyer and the creation of a new striking floor-to-ceiling glass viewing area of the swimming pool for users alongside a new café.  

The revitalised leisure centre will also include three new fitness studios, a large gym with a new functional fitness area, new health suite with steam room and sauna, new changing facilities, new café and an extended car park. The plans will also improve the centre’s energy efficiency with new air and ground source heat pumps, efficient lighting, and air conditioning, as part of Active Life and Canterbury’s ongoing commitment towards decarbonisation.

Kingsmead Leisure Centre is managed by Active Life, part of Fusion Lifestyle. The building is owned by Canterbury City Council.

Anthony Cawley, CEO of Fusion Lifestyle said: “We are delighted to be bringing these new plans for Kingsmead Leisure Centre forward.

“We see this as both an investment in a much used and valued building, and a longer-term investment in the health and wellbeing of the Canterbury community. We believe in providing quality sport, leisure and fitness activities to the communities that we serve, and this planned redevelopment programme will ensure the centre offers top of the range services for many years to come.

“As a charity, we invest everything we have into our centres, and hope to get started on this exciting project for Canterbury later this year.”

Leader of Canterbury City Council, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “This is a major investment for Canterbury City Council and underlines the importance of our relationship with Active Life and Fusion Lifestyle to provide leisure facilities to our residents.

“Our investment will put the centre on a more secure financial basis, reducing the cost to the council of leisure services in the future. Fusion will be paying the council because our investment enables them to increase usage and income and to reduce their running costs.

“Upgrading these facilities promises to improve our offering for years to come, ensuring access for those who need it most and allowing the trust to operate with greater financial independence. I look forward to following the scheme as it progresses.”

The timescale for delivery, subject to planning approval, is estimated at 18 months but will be refined on planning confirmation. Delivery will be carefully phased to allow the centre to stay open as much as possible and to minimise disruption for all users. 

Features including in the planning application submission:

  • A brand new fully glazed entrance hall and lobby
  • A luxurious new health suite with steam room and sauna
  • New wet and dry changing rooms and showers
  • Three new fitness studios including an additional spin studio and HIIT ‘Intencity’* studio (*brand name)
  • A new large gym with more space for your fitness needs
  • A new café and reception area
  • More parking spaces and new electric car charging points
  • A new interior décor, including in the sports hall

The new facilities will be available for use by all Active Life members, including members of Herons Leisure Centre in Herne Bay and Whitstable Sports Centre. All users will receive full and regular communications on improvements and upgrades throughout the programme, and will also have the opportunity to have their say on potential interior designs and layout in the near future.

Fusion Lifestyle is a registered charity managing sport and leisure projects and facilities across the UK with a track record of delivering exemplary recreational and sports community projects in partnership with local authorities, schools and colleges, and other public sector organisations to provide recreational sport, health and fitness activities to local communities.

For updates on Active Life’s plans and locations, visit and follow us @ActiveLifeLtd on social media.

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01227 769818