23rd October 2017
Save Athletics and Sports at Crystal Palace petition passes 5,500!  Keep sharing so the Mayor of London  knows how important the NSC and all its multi-use sports facilities indoors and outside, 50m pool, diving and training pool, and athletics tracks are for Londoners of all abilities.

1st September 2017
Help celebrate the Sporting Heritage at the Palace during a month of activities! Nominate the NSC as one of the top100 Placesfor Sports & Leisure by Historic England.

Click here  to  VOTE NOW!

The iconic sports venue, with a sporting legacy for over 150 years,  and the London home to the most World and All-Comers Records in athletics…

7th August 2017
Decision by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, approving the extension of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) contract for leisure management services at the National Sports Centre (NSC), Crystal Palace.  Extension for a minimum of 2 years from the 1st April 2018, with an option to extend this by a further 1 year (2+1 years).  Read the decision report here  MD2126 Crystal Palace, National Sports Centre.

The report adds:
1.3 Working with the support of Sport England and UK Athletics, the CLA will shortly be commissioning research into the demand for athletics facilities (both indoor and out) in South London. This will also consider the range of existing facilities available and will reflect on changes taking place across London but particularly locally at Sutcliffe Park, Eltham and the proposals for Normans Park, Bromley.

1.9 By extending the current contract with GLL during this interim period… There will be a degree of certainty for end users which will enable them to make plans for the immediate future. There have been recent signs of progress in attracting major events to the NSC in terms of Volleyball, Gymnastics and regional athletics and a secure position at least until 2020 will enable that progress to be built on…

Commentary from John Powell MBE, Chair, Crystal Palace Sports Partnership:

“I and all who rely on the track and field facilities at Crystal Palace – as I’m sure with other sports – am grateful to the GLA for the clarity they have now granted a previously unpredictable future for the National Sports Centre (NSC).  

It may only be for up to a 3-year period, but at least the powers that be have acceded to what we have campaigned for all along, and that is a carefully considered plan for a sustainable future taking into account demand as well as current usage and potential.  

My only reservation is that still, despite all that we have said, venues like Sutcliffe Park, Eltham, and Norman Park, Bromley, still appear to be considered to be part of the equation.  Neither venue has anywhere near the transport links afforded to Crystal Palace, are nowhere near as accessible, nor do they sit within an area of such high demand for sports and recreation as Crystal Palace.  As for what these other venues offer in terms of multi-sports, they do not come close to what we have at the NSC.

The fact, however, that due regard will be given to what national governing bodies have to say, especially that of athletics, and that due research will be carried out into demand and usage of the NSC is very encouraging.  

I hope that the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership will be able to actively contribute to the decision-making process between now and 2020, and that a resolution can be arrived at that satisfies the sports and local community and the purse strings at the GLA.”

19th July 2017
Bromley Council Executive resolved £625k from Capital Receipts to progress the Regeneration Plan towards an outline planning application by spring 2018 (draft minutes item 283). The completed Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan uses the GLA’s 2014 shortlisted option for the NSC area that’s “subject to agreement with the Greater London Authority“, which includes:

• Removal of the podium and high level walkway [that includes demolishing the indoor athletics track and other facilities]
• Removal of the 25m learner pool (building in front of main NSC building).
• Demolition of the West stand.
• Demolition of the Jubilee stand.
• Retention of the athletics track [outdoor]
• Reduction in parking, removing parking from Paxton’s Axis.

The shortlisted option has been used to inform the relationship of the NSC with the park in the development of the Regeneration Plan by Bromely Council for planning of the wider park.

29th June 2017
‘The Palace is in Peril’
news focus in Athletics Weekly, as the South of England Championships return to Crystal Palace.  Click to read full news story here.

Reporter, Jason Henderson, pictures, Mark Shearman

June 10th 2017

Championship Athletics returns to the NSC, with Southern Track & Field events hosted by South of England Athletic Association.  Entries have been up on previous years.    Spectators welcomed.

Saturday 10th & 11th June.   Southern Outdoor U20/Senior Championships

Saturday 19th & 20th August . Southern Outdoor U15/ U17 Championships.  U13 Open Events. All Ages Walks Championships.   Details of the event here.  

June 8th 2017

Bromley Council release plans to demolish NSC indoor track subject to agreement by GLA.

Information on Crystal Palace Park regeneration plans from  Bromley Council is here, and is an updated version of the previously agreed 2007 Masterplan for Crystal Palace Park and NSC, The Bromley plans were shown over two days, open for four hours per day, in the Park’s information centre, near Penge Gate.

The “…public exhibition aims to inform you about the preferred option that was identified through this process for the Regeneration Plan… The Council Executive and Full Council will make a final decision on the Regeneration Plan this summer.”

Bromley are expecting the NSC’s indoor track and other NSC facilities to be demolished, and to remove the NSC’s parking in the centre of the park. Bromley’s plans were said to be based on previously preferred GLA shortlisted options for the NSC, from the time of the CSM Strategic public consultation in 2014.  This would also mean demolishing the 25m Family/Training pool, and the London Weightlifting Centre. Bromley report their plans are “subject to agreement with the Greater London Authority“:

See the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan – Exhibition Boards May 2017.pdf report from Bromley for more details.  Page 6 shows their detailed plans for all around and in the park, and NSC areas. Bromley say the GLA are to align their investment in the NSC with these wider regeneration plans of Crystal Palace Park.

In 2014, the CSM Strategic final report  had 2,577 responses to the NSC consultation, with overwhelming negative comments to the proposed development concepts.    Over 4,000 signed a petition against the proposals at the time.   Recommended actions included “Need / demand for reprovision of indoor athletics at Crystal Palace and in South London to be revisited with input from key stakeholders”.

More details to follow from CPSP on the potential impact to the NSC and the term future of sports, sporting events, and permanent loss of NSC facilities, following the Bromley Regeneration Plan exhibition.

Background to the 2007 Masterplan:
The approved Masterplan  (link with illustrations) for Crystal Palace Park provided outline planning permission for the athletics track and a new stadium. One of the five core principles of the Masterplan was a “sports and events park”, that helped shape the 4 years of preapplication consultation.  The outcome was a multi-sport regional sports centre (RSC) and new stadium (link with accommodation schedule) that was to be integrated into the landscape, with reprovision of the indoor athletics track.  With the combination of the new stadium, athletics track, and the Grade II* listed sports hall,  it allowed the reprovision of sports facilities to minimise the overall net loss of facilities with the landscaping.  The new stadium facilities were located below ground taking advantage of the topography of the Park, with an accessible green roof, and with outside seating up to 3,000  spectators.  The car parking total was for up to 383 cars, integrated with tree planting to minimise the impact on the surrounding parkland, and over-flow parking, in addition to provision for overflow parking during events.

May 15th 2017

Bromley Council update event on the Regeneration Plan for Crystal Palace Park.
Two-day Public Exhibition and Regeneration Plan Update at the Information Centre in the park, where all visitors will be able to see a display on the Regeneration Plan and talk to representatives from the project team:

Public Exhibition and Regeneration Plan Update

Friday 19 May 2017, 2pm to 6pm
Saturday 20 May 2017, 10am to 2pm

Crystal Palace Park Information Centre (near Penge Gate entrance)

Come and join us at the Information Centre in Crystal Palace Park to find out more about the park’s Regeneration Plan. Over the past year we have been reviewing and refining ideas, consulting with the community and developing a recommended plan that will support a restored and vibrant park.

We are inviting you to come and see how your input is helping shape the future development of Crystal Palace Park. The project team will be on hand to answer your queries about the plan and how it was developed, before it is considered by the Council Executive and then Full Council this summer 


December 16th 2016 

Latest news in Athletics Weekly:

In what could be one of the great sporting comebacks of 2017, though, the old arena is set to hold athletics events again after undergoing refurbishment work in recent months.

Starting with three indoor events in January and February, the venue is due to stage the South of England Championships for senior and young athletes next summer, plus a number of open meetings.

“Crystal Palace has a global reputation and is possibly the most iconic track and field venue in Europe,” John Powell, chair of the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership, told AW.

“It will be of interest to many in the sport that these meetings will be returning to Crystal Palace next year and that it will be match-fit for competitive athletics.”

With support from the Greater London Authority and Mayor Sadiq Khan, the facilities have undergone a significant facelift this winter, with more improvements planned in the new year.

See the Dec 15 issue of AW for more on this story here.

November 11th 2016

A brief update on the NSC at Crystal Palace:

We are now approaching what could be another critical phase with the NSC planning by the GLA, where it will be crucial that NGB’s – especially for all outdoor sports generally, to engage at the highest level.

In a recent conversation between the GLA and our CPSP Chair, they made it clear that without the engagement of National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) it was going to be very difficult to make the case for retention of some facilities. The last CSM study into the NSC is still referred to, but we think this is somewhat historic in value and relevance now. The CSM report lacked robust data usage and strategic needs assessment by sport.

The GLA hold the long term lease for the CPNSC sports areas, and are considering a potential new operating model and its facility mix, from March 2018, and may even extend the current Operator further to allow more time to consider the long term future for sports provisions in Crystal Palace NSC.

In parallel, Bromley Council are forming a new governance model for the wider park, and creating a new Trust and appointed new Trustees. They have appointed AECOM to develop a sustainable business plan for Crystal Palace Park that will be in line with the 2007 Masterplan vision for the Park. See report here for details.…/1346-Exhibit…

Why could this be important now? The Park’s approved Masterplan involved the removal of most of the outside playing pitches, that was to be offset by the NSC main building being converted into a low maintenance dry sports use. Post the Masterplan, with subsequent GLA/LDA investment to upgrade and enhance the main swimming/diving pools and internal plant equipment, this Masterplan building conversion is considered less likely. So what will happen to all the outdoor pitches and indoor athletics track?

Now is the time to inform relevant NGBs and CPSP about your use and value for the NSC and outdoor areas, and for NGBs to inform the GLA. This feedback is needed to inform a robust needs assessment on the future of the outdoor pitches and facilities in the Crystal Palace NSC. This will best ensure the GLA can plan for the appropriate outdoor facility mix for the current and future user demands in this area, that can support the future sustainability of the NSC.

Please contact with comments.

September 28th 2016

We have been informed by the GLA they have now made appointments covering the role of the NSC.  They have mentioned that when developing the future procurement brief for the site, input from relevant parties would be taken into consideration. Following ongoing meetings, they will get a clearer idea about the potential options (at high level) going forward and will develop the next steps.

Recent Mayor Written Answers to Questions about the NSC:

Future of Crystal Palace Park and National Sport Centre (1)
Question No: 2016/3047
Caroline Russell
Will you ensure that the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership is involved in the tender process for the National Sports Centre if the contract is extended or re-tendered, including with writing the specification and interviewing the companies?

Written response from the Mayor
In undertaking any future procurement exercise, input from the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership and other relevant organisations will be taken into consideration when producing the brief.

Future of Crystal Palace Park and National Sport Centre (2)
Question No: 2016/3048
Caroline Russell
Based on new evidence on matters such as the use of sporting facilities at the National Sports Centre, if you decide to proceed with redeveloping the site, will you seek to develop and consult on new options?

Written response from the Mayor
When developing any future procurement brief, input from the previous public consultation exercise undertaken by CSM plus subsequent input from relevant parties would be taken into consideration. It is expected that this would produce a number of new and wide ranging options for evaluation.

August 1st 2016

The 150th Anniversary of first National Olympian Games held in Crystal Palace in 1866.

Reported as the “First Great Gathering of the National Olympian Association” attracted crowd of around 10,000 spectators.   The young WG Grace won the 440yard hurdles in 1m 10s at Crystal Palace game.  Notably, this was in the same week he was playing cricket for England, in a match against Surrey at the Oval, and scoring 224 runs not out.   The National Olympian Games included Swimming, Gymnastics, athletics, wrestling, boxing, fencing.  First day had swimming at Teddington on 31st July 1866, with indoor events in German Gymnasium (Kings Cross) on the 3rd day of the Games. The first National Olympian Games outdoor events included the “Gymnastic and Athletic Display in the Park of the Crystal Palace”, 1st August, 1866.

The British Olympics: Britain’s Olympic Heritage 1612-2012, by Martin Polley.

May 18th 2016 

A cross party of newly elected London Assembly members have written to the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to ask him to work with the local community in Crystal Palace in shaping the future of the National Sports Centre and Crystal Palace Park.

The story can be read in full on the GLA’s website.

Part of the letter states:

The Crystal Palace Sports Partnership, with the support of London Sport, has prepared a brief on finding sustainable options for the NSC and its integration with the park and the current masterplan.

If you would like to discuss the contents of the draft brief, and work with CPSP/London Sport, please contact our Chair John Powell MBE.

March 21st 2016 

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, one of the most accessible multi-sports venues in the UK, has had the threat of losing its iconic stadium and a host of other existing facilities lifted – at least for now.

Resident operators, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), now have GLA authorisation for a further operating contract extension, which indicates the centre will largely continue to operate as it has been for the next two years until March 2018. It is news that has been received by Crystal Palace Sports Partnership (CPSP) with muted enthusiasm.

To find out more read our latest press release.