Swiss Cottage Civic-Cultural Centre, Camden


The project has delivered new and updated facilities for leisure and the arts alongside improved public spaces, improved living accommodation, a theatre and sports venue whilst improving access to the site and knitting it into the local fabric. Via a public private partnership, the London Borough of Camden innovatively lead a mixed use redevelopment of obsolete leisure facilities, and provided a high-quality civic-cultural centre with multiple leisure facilities for the local community.

Project description

Project Timeline:

Planning permission was granted in 2000, work started on site in 2001, and the scheme was completed in 2007.

Services offered

Business/operational model

Since the completion of the redevelopment project, the London Borough of Camden has formed further partnerships with Ujima and Dominion Housing Associations and Greenwich Leisure Limited to manage and ensure the continued success of the facilities, as well as with various other organisations such as the Central School of Speech and Drama, to capitalise on the new facilities through the organisation of new community schemes.

Success factors

Importance of Thorough Consultation
Consultation Process Overcame Local Objectives Citizens Jury . In 1999 Camden invited tenders for the leisure centre and housing which included 25% affordable housing, and also staged a competition for the public park and leisure centre site.

Success of Wider Regeneration Project
The dramatic physical and environmental changes to the Swiss Cottage area outlined had a substantial and very positive impact on the cultural and sporting facilities provided within the regeneration project.  
Moreover, the development has acted as a catalyst for further physical regeneration taking place in the area, inspiring Transport for London to refurbish Swiss Cottage tube station and the Odeon Cinema to be redeveloped in to a popular multiplex.

Risk factors

None defined.

Financing and delivery/procurement

The development involved a five-part project. The five core projects are:

  • New Hampstead Theatre
  • Swiss Cottage Library
  • Leisure and Community Centres/ doctors surgery, and 42 social housing units
  • Main open space landscaping & Environmental improvements
  • The pedestrianisation of Eton Avenue and the new street market

Measurement and monitoring

  1. higher demand for performances at the Hampstead Theatre -In 2003 the audience was over three quarters full, with thirty to forty more tickets sold than the capacity of the old site allowed.

These physical and environmental developments have also provided a springboard for the social and economic regeneration that is currently taking place in Swiss Cottage. Moreover, it has addressed many of the aspirations of Camden residents for the area -as outlined in the last Community Strategy:

Please refer to for more information on Swiss Cottage.

Contact details

John Wolfenden
Project Manager
T: 020 8977 6174


Click here for pictures
from the CABE website