Swimming hero Ellie Simmonds was guest of honour at a swimming gala to celebrate the £16.5 million transformation of Islington’s much-loved Ironmonger Row Baths.
Ellie, who won two Gold medals at London 2012 Paralympic Games and two at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, joined the Mayor of Islington to officially reopen the Baths, near Old Street that includes:
• Full restoration of the main pool, with improved water circulation and healthier swimming environment
• A new training pool with moveable floor, to improve access for learners and disabled people
• Work to make the 1930s building fully accessible and welcoming for disabled people
• A new exercise studio, new state-of-the-art IFI-accredited gym and cardio zone
• Restoration of the historic Turkish Baths, and new expanded spa area
• Modern, expanded changing rooms for swimmers and gymgoers
Ellie said: “It is a great facility for the whole Islington community, with not just the pool but the Turkish baths downstairs, and the gym. It is modern but also keeps the old traditions.
“There were some great swimmers out there today – hopefully if they use this great facility all the time there will be some future Olympic swimmers.”
She also said that pools like Ironmonger Row Baths were helping to create an Olympic legacy.
First opened in 1931, Ironmonger Row Baths is operated by GLL, who have a strong track record within the leisure industry, running more than 100 facilities, mostly in London, under the Better brand.