Major spend on Beau Sejour
Beau Sejour major upgrade
March 2001 In early March, The Recreation Committee unveiled plans to spend
£9million on updating the Beau Sejour Leisure Centre. Opened 25 years ago in 1976, it is the most used public
building on the island with 1,600 daily users and 600,000 annually. It also has an impressive 5,000 members.
The building is now looking tired and outdated in some areas and the plans include:
New sponge type flooring in the main sports hall
modernised cafe and bar and shop areas
upgrade of the Sarnia Room
improved childrens' adventure zone and creche
improved ventilation and changing rooms including a changing village for pool users.
the centre of the building from the entrance to the concourse will be opened up and the maze of
the bar, viewing and catering facilities will have free access
new improved swimming pool viewing gallery on second floor and seating to be installed on third floor
new large fitness centre, studio and health suite on third floor with changing rooms and access to the
On 29 March, the States approved the expenditure and it is hoped that work will commence this
year and be complete before the Island Games in Guernsey in 2003.
History of Beau Sejour
It was more than 30 years ago that the idea of a leisure
centre was first mooted. In 1967, Bill Robilliard President of the Guernsey Sports Council started to put
pressure on States members to build a centre and Pour Beau Sejour was a common car sticker. In
1970 the Beau Sejour working committee was formed. Many St Peter Port parishoners did not want it in their back
yard and others did not want to see Beau Sejour House knocked down which stood next to the tennis courts half
way between the German bunker and the level playing fields at the top.
After four years of debate and two States meetings
lasting 16 hours, it was finally given the go-ahead in April 1974 by 35 votes to 16. Around 90% of members
wanted a centre but most objected on the grounds of cost. Deputy John de Putron thought that it would be a white
elephant and others thought the size to be irresponsible. Others wanted a 50-metre Olympic swimming pool but the
cost of £2m was too high. Many did not even know what a Leisure Centre looked like. Deputy Robbie Burns,
President of Recreation was praised for steering it through.
Building finally started and was not without its
problems. Steel girders were in short supply as they were being diverted toward North Sea Oil platform
construction. The two wettest Autumns for 200 years and one of the hottest Summers in 1976. However the centre
was officially opened on 11 December 1976 by the Bailiff Sir John Loveridge, watched proudly by the then
President of Recreation, Tony Bran