Time capsule marks start of new leisure centre

Children from Epping Primary School joined our groundbreaking ceremony.


Children from Epping Primary School joined district councillors and representatives from Places Leisure and Pellikaan Construction, on Wednesday 6 March to mark the beginning of construction of the new leisure centre in Epping. 

Since November 2023, various necessary facilitating works have been carried out on the site. This includes investigation surveys, testing and the clearance of the site. 

Pupils and staff from Epping Primary School attended as special guests at the official groundbreaking, to bury the time capsule they had put together as part of the project.  

The students attended an assembly in January to find out more about the new leisure centre. They were asked to create a time capsule made of objects they want to include to represent life in Epping today and have been promised the first official swim when the centre opens next year. 

GPS coordinates record the location of the time capsule. A plaque will be mounted on the wall of the finished leisure centre to mark the spot. 

The new Epping Leisure Centre is due to open in 2025 and will replace the existing Epping Sports Centre, in Hemnall Street.  

It will be the most energy efficient leisure centre in the district, supporting Epping Forest District Council’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. The centre will incorporate the highest levels of insulation into construction and in combination with the use of Air Source Heat Pumps no gas connection is required. This will keep carbon emissions as low as possible.  

New facilities will include: 

  • A main swimming pool 

  • A learner pool 

  • Sports hall 

  • Health and fitness gym 

  • Studios 

  • Squash courts 

Epping Ground Breaking ceremony

Epping Leisure Centre is being delivered by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) in partnership with Places Leisure and Pellikaan Construction Ltd. 

Places Leisure manages all the district’s leisure centres on behalf of the Council. Pellikaan Construction is carrying out the construction work for the new centre.  

EFDC Chairman, Cllr Darshan Sunger assisted the children from Epping Primary School in burying the time capsule. He also tried out an innovative new method of quiet piling which reduces noise and vibration to imperceptible levels. He said: 

“It was an absolute privilege to be involved with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Epping Leisure Centre."

“A big thank you to the pupils and staff at Epping Primary School for their contribution. Their time capsule is a wonderful addition to the centre."

“The new leisure centre will be a central place for the community to enjoy. It will help promote health and wellbeing and provides new features not seen before in Epping. It is a great example of how EFDC is investing in the district’s leisure centres, the community and the future.” 

Council Leader, Cllr Chris Whitbread said: 

“The groundbreaking marks such an important milestone in the new leisure centre and development for the town. I am thrilled to be working with construction company, Pellikaan, again, who did such a marvellous job with the Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre in 2018 and continuing to work closely with Places Leisure on delivering a fantastic new leisure facility for Epping. 

“I am excited to see the building grow and develop into an excellent resource that will help boost the local economy and provide additional employment opportunities.” 

Dan Walker, Business Development Director for Places Leisure commented: 

“The first steps towards the delivery of a modern multi-million-pound leisure facility for the community of Epping have been taken, and we are absolutely delighted to be working hand in hand with Epping Forest District Council and our community partners to expand the areas leisure offering.  

“The new accessible venue will offer a space where everyone can benefit from a more active and healthier lifestyle, and we are looking forward to being able to welcome the wider community into the centre next year.” 

Gert-Jan Peeters, Managing Director of Pellikaan Construction Ltd said: 

“It was good to see all the people at the groundbreaking ceremony and especially a big thanks to the pupils and staff of Epping Primary School.  

“Now that we have started on site, we will do our utmost to minimise nuisance to the surrounding community during the construction of this state-of-the-art Leisure Centre. The new Epping Leisure Centre will be a perfect place for the community to meet and to work on their health and wellbeing.” 

Find out more information on the new Epping Leisure Centre project below.