On Your Marks!

A future plan for Crystal Palace
National Sports Centre

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About On Your Marks!

The Mayor wants to ensure that Crystal Palace National Sports Centre is fit for the future. A team of architects, designers, enthusiasts and specialists has been assembled to come up with a plan.

The iconic building within Crystal Palace Park has been host to an impressive sporting heritage. Records were set. Medals were clinched. Legends were born. It was the home of the international London Athletics Grand Prix for nearly 60 years. FA cup finals and motor races were amongst the high profile events that put Crystal Palace firmly on the sporting map.

Whilst these major events now take place at newer iconic venues such as Wembley Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre continues to host an array of sports events such as the London Youth Games, an annual triathlon and national championships for a number of sports as well as school sports days and events for the local community.

The Centre provides a large programme of community sport and leisure, delivered by Better Leisure, with over 2,400 children learning to swim and over 700,000 visitors using the facilities each year.

The facilities have seen better days and significant investment is needed to keep the Centre running. But changes can be made to transform the Centre into a hub for leisure and sport that works for the whole community. In 2019 the Mayor will set out a plan for the Centre’s future. The Centre might look slightly different - but its record of providing a space for sports and recreation, health and well-being, that meets the needs of both sports communities and local people will be secured.

We want you to help us shape a training plan for the Centre’s comeback. Gym goers, Saturday swimmers, Sunday strollers, aspiring athletes, daredevil divers. Help the Centre achieve a new personal best.

Why 'On Your Marks!' ?

We recognise that there has been a lot of discussion and work exploring the Centre before now. However, with a future plan for the Centre being developed, now is the time to make sure your voice is heard.

On Your Marks...

Get Set...


The Story So Far

The Mayor wants London to be the most socially integrated and active city in the world and sport has great power to bring people together and to improve lives.

Significant investment has been made in the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in recent years to sustain the current operation. But to ensure it has a sustainable future, which delivers a range of sports across a range of participation pathways, it needs a new approach.

Work has begun to plan for a sustainable long-term future for the Centre; one which retains the Centre’s ability to support a wide range of sporting facilities and activity and helps improve the environment in Crystal Palace Park.

The first step in developing this new plan has involved a review of the role the NSC plays in London’s sports facility provision. This has looked at local and regional sports facilities, assessing the supply and demand, scale and quality. It has also explored future predicted trends for participation in different sports.

This work has confirmed the need for a range of facilities at the Centre that support:

  • sports at a range of levels
  • events of varying scales
  • accessible health and leisure facilities that meet the needs of local communities.

Crucially the Centre needs investment to sustain its future and to maximise new and existing activity. The next stage of work beginning now and taking place over the next 6 months will seek to develop a sustainable plan that helps deliver this ambition for the Centre.

In parallel, Bromley Council are developing a regeneration plan for the park, providing a great opportunity to bring about lasting change. A Crystal Palace Park Trust has been formed to manage and improve the park as a whole for the community and park users.

You can find more information here about the Regeneration Projects for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre


Between August 2018 and February 2019 our team hosted a wide range of community engagement events, including creative workshops and celebration events.

You can find a list of all the previous engagement stages below, with details of some of the outcomes from each. These events and activities have helped to shape the development of a future plan for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and you can read about the outcomes and feedback received during each stage.

Previous Engagement Stages

Coached by Community!

The Coached by the Community series of events included two Pop-up engagement events and four facilitated workshops, where the public were invited to participate in activities to help inform a future plan for the Centre.

These sessions were developed to allow the community to support the On Your Marks! team to better understand current usage, existing assets, important values and key priorities for the Centre.

Click the button below to read a summary of issues and ideas explored in these sessions.

Trialling the Design Options

Held over four sessions in October, these facilitated events included presentations of draft studies identified by our design team, as well as a range of interactive activities inviting participants to offer constructive feedback, helping to shape their final development.

Click the button below to read more about the events and a summary of feedback generated during this stage of engagements.


Beam was a unique event, lighting up the past, present and future of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

For one night only, on the 5th of November, the exterior of The Lodge was transformed into an engaging spectacle, weaving together archival footage and bold graphic elements.

Visible throughout the park, Beam captured the attention of thousands during the annual fireworks display.

Community Conference

The Community Conference was a celebration of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, and a chance for our team to share developed proposals for its future.

This built upon everything we had learned through previous engagement stages, and offered the public and Centre users an opportunity to learn more about the proposals and understand how their feedback had influenced their development.

Click the button below to read more about the event.

Community Conference Presentation

Below is a copy of the presentation delivered by our project team at the Community Conference, detailing proposals for the future of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

Click in the bottom right corner to view in fullscreen.

On Your marks!
Questionnaire & Options Survey

Our online engagement is now closed. Thanks to everyone who took part.

All contributions will be included within final project reporting.

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Project Team

The Mayor of London has carefully assembled a team with specific expertise for this project to maximise the opportunities it could offer to the local and wider community.

Meet the On Your Marks! team

Hawkins\Brown is at the forefront of British architecture and masterplanning. They are an internationally-renowned practice of over 280 employees. They are the AJ Architecture Practice of the Year 2016 and 2017, BD Infrastructure Architect of the Year 2016 and their work with Grade II listed Hackney Town Hall was commended in the Civic Trust Awards 2018. In 2014 they were shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize for Park Hill, Europe’s largest Grade II* listed building, and have been shortlisted for Masterplanning & Public Realm Architect of the year in 2017.

Hawkins\Brown will be the architect and lead designer of the On Your Marks! team. They will use their experience in managing multidisciplinary teams, engaging multiple stakeholders and consulting diverse communities to structure and manage the future plan for the Sports Centre.

Continuum Sport and Leisure Ltd (Continuum) has notable experience of working within the public, private and voluntary sectors of sport and leisure. Established in 2001, their experience spans: sports facilities strategies; playing pitch strategies; open space strategies; options appraisals; feasibility studies; business planning; service and contract reviews; funding applications; project and programme management and sport and physical activity strategy development.

Continuum will use this experience to help the wider project team determine an overall sporting vision and strategy for the On Your Marks! project'.

Pidgin Perfect are experts at delivering and supporting creative engagement strategies. They have a well established track record of working with citizen stakeholders to deliver innovative strategies which respond to the contextual qualities of place through dialogue and intervention. Pidgin Perfect provoke conversation and uncover unique citizen knowledge, enabling people to make meaningful contributions to a constructive dialogue.

Pidgin Perfect are responsible for the development of the community engagement strategy across the On Your Marks! project.

Turley provide a combined planning and specialist built heritage service which recognises complex and varied planning considerations alongside the climate of development within London and local boroughs.

Turley will work with the On Your Marks! team to provide planning inputs for the future plan for the Sports Centre.

Kinnear Landscape Architects are at the cutting edge of developing new ideas and research. They passionately believe in progressing a conceptual approach to the Art of Landscape Architecture. The development of new ideas and research has always been a significant aim, in parallel to the importance of high quality design. They have extensive experience of working within London and, crucially, in Crystal palace Park, to achieve innovative design solutions in the public realm. Over the past four years, the practice has had an active and ongoing involvement in the park to deliver the Crystal palace Regeneration Plan.

Kinnear Landscape Architects bring their wealth of detailed local knowledge to the On Your Marks! team.

Mott MacDonald are a global engineering, management and development consultancy focused on guiding its clients through many of the planet’s most intricate challenges. They have 25 years of sports and leisure project experience covering new build, refurbishment, and extension, and have an unrivalled database of cost information to inform feasibility decision-making.

The Mott MacDonald team will bring their world-leading experience from UK and global projects, including the redevelopment of Twickenham Stadium and the new Wembley Stadium.


If you have any questions or comments you can contact us by email below.


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