Steam room

Canterbury’s Kingsmead Leisure Center will have a new sauna and steam room in an £8m revamp

A steam room, sauna and three fitness studios are all set to be added to the district’s busiest sports facility as part of an £8million revamp.

Active Life bosses have launched a bid for the long-awaited expansion of the Kingsmead Leisure Center in Canterbury.

Kingsmead Leisure Center in Canterbury
A CGI showing what Canterbury's Kingsmead Leisure Center will look like after its makeover
A CGI showing what Canterbury’s Kingsmead Leisure Center will look like after its makeover

They aim for work on the seven-figure project – which will involve the expansion of the gymnasium and the creation of a new cafe and reception – to be completed within 18 months of plans being approved .

The development will be funded by a capital loan guaranteed by Canterbury City Council, owner of the facility, which will be repaid over three decades by Active Life’s parent company, Fusion Lifestyle.

Council leader Ben Fitter-Harding said: ‘Our investment will put the center on a more secure financial footing, reducing the cost to the council of leisure services in the future.’

Kingsmead was originally slated for a £10.5million redevelopment which would have included the erection of a gym on stilts.

Work started two years ago but was put on hold following the Covid outbreak, before the cheaper proposals were unveiled towards the end of last year.

Kingsmead Leisure Center in Canterbury will have a health suite consisting of a steam room and sauna when the project is complete
Kingsmead Leisure Center in Canterbury will have a health suite consisting of a steam room and sauna when the project is complete
The Kingsmead Leisure Center development will be funded by a capital loan guaranteed by Canterbury City Council
The Kingsmead Leisure Center development will be funded by a capital loan guaranteed by Canterbury City Council

These designs have now been lodged with the City Council’s planning team, who are expected to decide whether or not to give them the green light in the coming months.

The revitalized leisure center will have three new fitness studios – one used for spin classes and the other for high-intensity workouts – as well as a health suite consisting of a steam room and sauna .

“We see this as both an investment in a well-used and loved building, and a longer-term investment in the health and well-being of the community,” added Fusion CEO Anthony Cawley.

“This planned redevelopment program will allow the center to provide high-end services for many years.

Fusion says the building will also feature an upgraded gym that will have a “functional fitness area,” a new cafe, more locker rooms and larger parking.

Plans show three new fitness studios will be added to Kingsmead Leisure Center in Canterbury as part of the scheme
Plans show three new fitness studios will be added to Kingsmead Leisure Center in Canterbury as part of the scheme
Ben Fitter-Harding, Leader of Canterbury City Council
Ben Fitter-Harding, Leader of Canterbury City Council

The company stresses that the works will be “carefully staggered to allow the center to remain open as much as possible and to minimize disruption to all users”.

All Active for Life members will be able to use the new facilities.