On Friday (23 July), Councillor Eleanor Stringer, Joint Deputy Leader of Merton Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Education, attended a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of works to redevelop YMCA Wimbledon.
In December 2020, a resolution to grant consent for the redevelopment of YMCA Wimbledon at 200 The Broadway was approved by Merton Council’s Planning Committee. The proposals put forward by YMCA St Paul’s Group and their development partner, Thornsett, will allow for the delivery of a new state-of-the-art YMCA building, alongside an adjoining development of 135 new homes and two new commercial units at ground floor.
Redevelopment of the site will enable YMCA St Paul’s Group to continue their work in the borough, which has been ongoing for the past 150 years, and to deliver wider benefits to the community.
The current building requires urgent modernisation. The scheme will provide 121 hostel rooms with en-suite bathrooms and cooking facilities, to help give residents a better quality of life and support them back into independent living.
YMCA residents and the Wimbledon community will also benefit from new and improved, affordable facilities, including a gym, bigger studio space for fitness classes, a children’s area and brand-new YMCA café.
YMCA St Paul’s Group and Thornsett have since selected Neilcott – a regional contractor with over 50 years’ experience in the construction business and a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme – to build the new YMCA.
Construction of the scheme will take place in phases, with Phase 1 works for the new YMCA building beginning shortly and expected to be completed by summer 2023. Phase 2 for the new residential development will commence subsequently and will take a further 2 years.
In the coming weeks, preliminary works will be undertaken to prepare the site for construction. Demolition of Tower Lodge will begin in August, followed by Olympic House in September. Local residents have been notified about this upcoming activity and a dedicated Construction Working Group is being established.
Commenting on the commencement of construction, Councillor Stringer said: “I am delighted to be able to mark the start of a new future for the YMCA in the borough. It is exciting to see work begin to provide enhanced accommodation for vulnerable young people locally and to offer facilities that will benefit the whole community, as well as much-needed new homes.”
Richard James, CEO of YMCA St Paul’s Group said: “This is an extremely exciting moment for YMCA St Paul’s Group, our residents and the local community, as we break ground on the new YMCA Wimbledon. Our vision is to create places where young people thrive and communities flourish and this new state-of-the-art YMCA building will enable just that. We’re grateful to the local residents, Merton Council, Thornsett, Neilcott and Councillor Stringer for their support of this important development.”
Bernadette Cunningham, Director of Thornsett said: “Having engaged closely with the local community and Merton Council to secure planning permission, we are thrilled to now be commencing construction on this important development, which will deliver a new YMCA Wimbledon that can be enjoyed by the community for generations to come.”
“Importantly, this has been enabled by the provision of the adjoining residential development, which will help to address an under-provision of homes suitable for first time buyers in the borough. After many years of hard work, we are delighted to be working together with YMCA St Paul’s Group and Neilcott to get this underway.”