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Photo gallery: First tour of £123million leisure centre and council headquarters in King’s Cross

Cllr Abdul Hai in front of the 25m basement swimming pool. Picture: Polly Hancock. Cllr Abdul Hai in front of the 25m basement swimming pool. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Friday, July 18, 2014
2:00 PM

Two-and-a-half years in the making, Camden Council’s brand new headquarters, including an array of community leisure facilities, were opened to Ham&High reporter Tim Lamden for a grand tour last week

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Camden Council’s new £123million building sits on the doorstep of King’s Cross station in Pancras Square, a sparkling new jungle of high-rise office space.

It is one of the 50 buildings that make up the new N1C postcode created out of the £550m King’s Cross redevelopment.

Council staff began transferring to their new base a fortnight ago as part of an eight-week move due to be completed on August 24.

The building has 10 floors of office space, enough room for 2,400 council employees who have until now been scattered in offices across the borough.

There are three public art commissions in the new building, including one created by Turner Prize-nominated artist Mark Titchner and another by Camden artist Simon Periton.

On Saturday the new HQ’s community leisure facilities, including libraries, a gym and swimming pools, open to the public with two days of celebratory events.

Camden Council leader, Cllr Sarah Hayward, said: “We’re proud to be opening the doors of our state-of-the-art, sustainable new leisure and community facility, and to be able to welcome Camden residents and visitors to this vibrant new area.

“This weekend the community are invited to come along and try out the leisure and library facilities, and join in the fun as we celebrate the opening of 5 Pancras Square.”

The new building, funded through the sale of old council offices, has a customer service desk for residents on its ground floor, as well as a children’s library and a community cafe.

A larger library is located on the first floor.

On the lower ground floor is a fully-equipped gym with lockers and changing rooms.

In the basement is a pool area with its own changing rooms, alongside fitness studios.

The pool room has an attractive wall of LED panels, which continually switch between different colour washes.

Residents will be able to enjoy a 25m pool with disabled access, as well as a smaller family pool, two “lagoon” pools and steam and sauna rooms.

The price of swimming sessions will start from £1.25 and £2.10 for children and adults respectively.

Cllr Adbul Hai, cabinet member for customers, communities and culture, took the Ham&High on last week’s tour of the new facilities.

He said: “What we want to do is create a focal point for a section of our community so they can come and pay the bills and take part in a variety of leisure facilities under one roof.

“It will hopefully enable the most disadvantaged members of the community to utilise the leisure facilties.”

For more information about the leisure facilities and membership prices, visit better.org.uk/leisure/pancras-square

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