Our goal

The Surrey Canal Sports Foundation (SCSF), registered charity no. 1141811, was established in May 2011 to provide world class sports facilities for school, community and elite use in south east London and to safeguard those facilities for future generations. The facilities will be located in a new sports centre called Energize within the future New Bermondsey development.

In the meantime, SCSF has established the ‘Thunderdome’, a 24,000 sqft temporary sports facility comprising 2 full size basketball courts and 14 table tennis tables for London Thunder Basketball and Fusion Table Tennis Club respectively which receives over 2500 visits per month.

In order for Energize to become a reality, Renewal needs to complete its land assembly for the New Bermondsey regeneration site after which detailed designs can be commissioned.

Lewisham Council is currently commissioning an independent enquiry into matters relating to New Bermondsey, Energize and SCSF which we fully support and will input into.

We will keep the website updated as the project progresses but in the meantime please see our Frequently Asked Questions to address any queries.

Our Story





Thunder’s U18’s men reached the final 2 out of 128 teams entered in the National Cup. The match was a close affair with Thunder trailing 47-49 at the start of the final quarter. Unfortunately, they could not find a way through the Myerscough Spinners defence and the team from Preston ran out 68-55 winners. Thunder’s star man was their England international Josh Edwards who top scored with 23 points including 6 rebounds.





Fusion men’s senior team hosted Halton 1 from Cheshire and achieved a resounding 7-1 victory recording their first win of the season.




Mayor of London accelerates Energize

The New Bermondsey development has been designated as one of the Mayor of London’s first Housing Zones which will accelerate delivery of the first two phases of the development, which include Energize, by several years.

Find out more




Fusion host international legends match

Fusion Table Tennis have celebrated the grand opening of their new 14 table home in the Thunderdome by hosting an international legends match featuring former world champions Jan-Ove Waldner & Jorgen Persson.



Surrey Canal Sports Foundation sponsors Lewisham Borough FC

The Surrey Canal Sports Foundation have sponsored Lewisham Borough (Community) FC for the 2014/15 season. Lewisham Borough are a community club who play on the Ladywell Arena, Catford and this sponsorship will provide them with new kits, training equipment, transport and admin costs.



Official opening of the Thunderdome

Sir Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham, has opened the Thunderdome, the new home of London Thunder Basketball and Fusion Table Tennis. The Thunderdome is an interim facility on the New Bermondsey site while the plans for Energize are being developed. Home to 2 basketball courts and 14 table tennis tables, the Thunderdome has quickly established itself as one of London’s most exciting new sports venues, and has been made possible by the support of Renewal, Lewisham Council, the L&Q Foundation and Basketball England in partnership with the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.



OnSide launch partnership with the SCSF to create a Youth Zone at Energize

OnSide have launched a partnership with the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation and New Bermondsey developer Renewal to build a Youth Zone within Engerize, serving the young people of Lewisham and Southwark.

Based on their existing model, the Youth Zone at Energize will be open 52 weeks a year, seven days a week, giving young people aged 8 – 19 and those up to 25 with a disability, a place to socialise, be creative and inspire one another in their free time. Young people would be able to take part in a range of activities including dance, sport fitness, music and media and all for just 50p per visit.

For more information on Youth Zones and Onside see the below link.




Lewisham pledge £500,000 towards Energize

Lewisham Council has pledged £500,000 towards the Energize building. This is subject to numerous hurdles, box ticking and full mayor and cabinet approval before turning into a binding commitment.



Thunder receive Olympic Legacy seats

Two hundred spectator seats which were part of the Aquatic Centre during the London 2012 Olympics have been given to Lewisham Thunder. These seats have been used to create a show court in the Thunderdome.




Outline planning permission granted for Energize

Lewisham Council has granted an updated outline planning consent for Energize. Providing facilities for a wide range of sports, Energize will be a multi-storey building, centered around a 3,000 seat show court.



Lewisham Thunder receive Mayor of London Award

Lewisham Thunder have received the Mayor of London’s Volunteer Award for “Team of the Year” presented by the Mayor Boris Johnson at City Hall.



Sport England application moved to New Strategic Facilities Fund

Sport England write to the SCSF informing that the application for funding has been moved from the Iconic Facilities Fund to the new Strategic Facilities Fund.

“Sport England’s Project Committee has recently reviewed the Surrey Canal Sports project and progress made during this year. They remain supportive of the development, whilst acknowledging the significant challenges that a project of this scale has encountered. I can confirm that the committee has agreed for the project to move to our new fund with our existing £2M lottery allocation retained and that our teams continue to work together to bring this important scheme to fruition.”



The Surrey Canal Sports Foundation creates interim sports facility

In order to grow sport in New Bermondsey, the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation has granted current U18 national champions Lewisham Thunder Basketball, and recent national champions Fusion Table Tennis, user agreements on a large warehouse opposite where Energize will be and within the New Bermondsey development site, so that they can create an innovative interim sports facility. The new facility will provide:

  • 2 basketball courts
  • 14 table tennis tables
  • Changing rooms
  • Wheelchair store room
  • A Canteen
  • Offices
  • Classrooms






Renewal commits £10 million towards Energize

Renewal, the developer behind the New Bermondsey regeneration, has committed £10m towards Energize, in that it is donating the land for Energize to the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.



Sport England acknowledge application for ‘in principle’ funding

Sport England have acknowledged the application from Renewal, the developer behind the New Bermondsey regeneration, to be part of their Iconic Facilities Fund with an ‘in principle’ funding allocation of £2m for the sports facilities given.

Update: The end date for the Iconic Facilities Fund was reached and the application moved to the Strategic Facilities fund. This funding round has also now come to an end, and the SCSF is committed to re-engaging with Sport England as part of the current funding programme that runs from 2017 – 2021.



Steven Norris is announced as Chairman of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation

The former Government Minister Steven Norris has accepted the role of Chairman of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation. Steven brings a wealth of experience to the position and is the ideal candidate to lead the Foundation.

Surrey Canal Sports Foundation FAQ

The Surrey Canal Sports Foundation (SCSF) was established in 2011 as a registered charity (charity No. 1141811) to raise capital funds for and to oversee the running of an indoor community sports centre called Energize, which will be delivered as part of the New Bermondsey regeneration scheme in Lewisham.

SCSF started out as an initiative led by the developer Renewal, who brought together the leaders of Lewisham and Southwark Councils and others with the shared the belief that SCSF could bring significant benefits to the people of both boroughs through Energize and wider community outreach.

Renewal has to date funded SCSF with circa £1m of investment, which has been used to establish the Thunderdome, a 24,000 square foot sports facility in a warehouse on Stockholm Road.

With the support of SCSF, Renewal, Lewisham Council, the London and Quadrant Foundation and Basketball England, the Thunderdome comprises a temporary sports facility incorporating 2 full-size basketball courts, 14 table tennis tables, changing room facilities, classrooms, a canteen and 200 spectator seats, donated from the Aquatic Centre for the London 2012 Olympics.

Despite the current poor transport links and the Thunderdome sitting at the heart of an industrial area, the venue now receives circa 2,550 visits per month (c. 2,000 for London Thunder Basketball Club and c. 550 for Fusion Table Tennis Club). The Thunderdome’s resident teams, London Thunder Basketball Club and Fusion Table Tennis Club, have England squad players within their ranks and both have won national championships. In February of this year, London Thunder U18s Men’s squad reached the final of the National U18s Cup, a 128-team knockout competition.

More information can be found on London Thunder and Fusion Table Tennis websites below:



SCSF has also previously sponsored Lewisham Borough (Community) FC which plays at the Ladywell Arena in Catford. The sponsorship provided the team with new kit, training equipment and a contribution towards transport and administration costs.

Energize will be a £40m, state-of-the-art indoor sports centre at the heart of the New Bermondsey development, providing affordable and accessible sports facilities for local communities across Lewisham and Southwark.

The centre will be located on Surrey Canal Road in New Cross ward, 1.5 miles from London Bridge. Despite its proximity to central London, the ward is one of the most deprived in the country, suffering from high unemployment, poor health and low life expectancy. Today, the local area has a young and diverse population with 33% of residents under 25 years old and 60% from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. The population of the New Cross ward is set to grow by more than 60% over the next 15 years.

Once complete, Energize will house:

  • A multi-purpose retractable 3,000 seat arena which can convert to three 40x20m sports halls;
  • An indoor 3G football pitch that will be the new home for the Millwall Community Trust and available to divide into 5-a-side pitches;
  • A third arena which will be sub-divided into areas for table tennis, gymnastics and a multi-use sports arena;
  • A six-lane 25m swimming pool and learner pool;
  • A 150 station gym; and
  • A designated boxing area.

New Bermondsey is an underused 30-acre industrial site in the northernmost tip of Lewisham. Sandwiched between the main railway routes into London Bridge, it has long been overlooked and is a neglected corner of inner London.

The New Bermondsey scheme being delivered by Renewal will transform this industrial site into a new neighbourhood. For more information visit www.newbermondsey.com.

Since 2013, SCSF has leased a 24,000 square foot warehouse on Stockholm Road from Renewal. Renewal has also agreed to gift the land for Energize to SCSF, at a cost of circa £10m. That will guarantee its long-term use as a community asset. It will then cost £30m – £40m to build and fit out the facility.

SCSF is not an alternative or a replacement to the Millwall Community Trust.

MCT is a successful charity that does fantastic work in the community. It is fully supported by SCSF, Renewal and the Council (who currently lease the Lions Centre to MCT on a rent free basis).

The SCSF is the entity that will own and manage the Energize building, which will provide a new home for MCT to work alongside other like-minded organisations. SCSF will not provide its own outreach programme.

In 2009 a report was commissioned by Lewisham Council and Renewal to examine the needs and demands for sport as part of the New Bermondsey regeneration.

That report concluded that participation levels in sport in the local area were severely restricted by the low provision of sporting facilities.

Energize (circa 15,000 sq m) will not be a like for like replacement of the Lions Centre (circa 3,700 sq m); it will be a state of the art complex that will provide facilities for a whole range of sporting disciplines; it will not compare to the now aging facilities at the Lions Centre.

Energize will provide affordable sports facilities for communities across Lewisham and Southwark. It will be easily accessible as a result of the transport infrastructure improvements to be delivered as part of the scheme, including a new station on the East London Line, a new access to South Bermondsey station, a bus interchange, two new bus routes and new and improved pedestrian and cycle routes in and around the site.  In addition, 12 railway arches in the area will be transformed and upgraded (including new lighting), increasing safety for those accessing Energize.

No. There is no reason why the scheme should undermine the work that is being done by MCT or threaten their existence.  SCSF is 100% committed to ensuring that MCT is successfully relocated from the Lions Centre to Energize, so that they can continue providing their outreach work.

The new facility with its enhanced and extended sports facilities, teaching areas, offices, bars, restaurant, retail space and ancillary space will allow MCT to grow and expand the scope, nature and range of the services that it provides to the community.

The Council has legal agreements in place that provide MCT with cast iron rights to ensure that they cannot simply be evicted. MCT is not required to vacate the Lions Centre until Energize (with the replacement Lions Centre facilities) is built and open to the public. Until that time, no demolition works can start at the Lions Centre.

This is an issue that SCSF takes very seriously, but it would be very disappointed (and surprised) if the EFL sought to take away the Youth Academy’s Category Two status.

There is clear evidence that there is flexibility in the EFL Academy system, and common sense would suggest that the relocation of the indoor 3G pitch from the Lions Centre to Energize (some 200 meters) should not be an issue. Not only will the Youth Academy benefit from state of the art facilities, but travel times for Academy players using Energize will inevitably be shortened, given the enhanced transport infrastructure that the scheme will deliver (new station, bus interchange, two new bus routes and new and improved pedestrian and cycle routes).

SCSF is committed to finding a solution to ensure that the EFL do not unfairly penalise MFC’s Youth Academy.

In 2013, Renewal was granted permission to change the use of part of a warehouse which now accommodates London Thunder basketball team and Fusion Table Tennis Club. The temporary use comes to an end on 31 August 2017. We expect temporary permission for the Thunderdome to be extended as it provides vital community benefits.

Renewal and SCSF have approached a number of philanthropic organisations, statutory bodies and potential occupiers to understand “in principle” who would be interested in funding the Energize project and being involved in the delivery of community services from the completed building. These include:

Sport England
An application was made by Renewal to Sport England in late 2010 for capital funding towards the construction costs of Energize. Sport England acknowledged the application from Renewal to be a part of their Iconic Facilities Fund in March 2011 with an ‘in principle’ funding allocation of £2m. As part of the allocation it was clear that a number of “development conditions” would need to be complied with in order to progress to a binding funding agreement.

Due to delays in the land assembly for the project, the end date for the Iconic Facilities Fund was reached and Sport England wrote to SCSF on 23 October 2013 confirming:

“Due to the period of time it’s taken so far to reach the current stage of the project’s development, Sport England recently discussed with Renewal the need to move the bid from [the Iconic Facilities Fund] to our new Strategic Facilities Fund.”

“I can confirm that the committee has agreed for the project to move to our new fund with the existing £2m lottery funding allocation retained and that our teams continue to work together to bring this important scheme to fruition.”

“This decision will allow the project team to work to an agreed and realistic timetable for delivery/construction; and ultimately ensure that Sport England’s full support for the scheme remains.”

There was no further correspondence from Sport England to either SCSF or Renewal to suggest that the funding application “was subsequently withdrawn in 2013”. SCSF and Renewal continued with their work on the understanding that the original application had been “moved” to the new fund, as per Sport England’s letter of 23 October 2013.

Due to the continuing delays with the project, it has not been possible to progress the development conditions with Sport England. The Strategic Facilities Fund has now also ended and SCSF is committed to re-engaging with Sport England as part of the current funding programme that runs from 2017 – 2021.

See reply to Q13 below for details concerning the use of the word “pledge” in describing the process with Sport England.

Renewal has agreed to gift the land for Energize to SCSF, at a cost of circa £10m. That will guarantee its long-term use as a community asset. It will then cost £30m – £40m to build and fit out the facility.

Lewisham Council
In June 2014, SCSF received a commitment from Lewisham Council of £500,000 towards the delivery of Energize, openly referred to as a “pledge”. This is subject to numerous hurdles, box ticking and full mayoral and cabinet approval before turning into a binding commitment.

The Council pledge of £500,000 will only be payable once the terms of the funding agreement have been settled and approved by Lewisham’s mayor and cabinet.

OnSide Youth Zone
SCSF has been in discussions with OnSide since 2014 about incorporating one of London’s first Youth Zones into Energize, alongside the sports facilities.

OnSide is a registered charity that funds and builds Youth Zones which provide a supportive environment for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to spend their free time constructively and affordably. Neither SCSF nor Renewal has ever stated that there is a formal agreement with OnSide however in July 2014 OnSide did announce a partnership had been established between these organisations with the goal of having a Youth Zone within Energize.

Greenhouse Sports
In 2016 SCSF held preliminary discussions with Greenhouse Sports who provide sports coaching in deprived areas, with a view to them having a permanent home at Energize.

Founded in 2002, Greenhouse Sports is a London-based charity committed to using sport to help young people living in inner city areas to realise their full potential. They have a particular interest in basketball, football and table tennis and have worked with over 38,000 young people to date.

Neither SCSF nor Renewal has ever stated that they have a “formal relationship” with Greenhouse.

At no stage has SCSF or Renewal suggested to any third party that a legally binding funding agreement was in place with Sport England. It has always been the case that further criteria would have to be met in order to turn the Sport England support into a concrete funding obligation.

However, SCSF (and Renewal) recognises that it jumped the gun by referring to the process and clear support of Sport England in correspondence and dialogue between 2011 and 2014 as a “pledge”. That was done in good faith, as that is how SCSF categorised the Sport England commitment – just as the £500,000 commitment from Lewisham was categorised.

In September 2014, Sport England emailed Renewal (not SCSF) requesting that the references to ‘pledge’ in an Energize brochure be changed and for further publications to be run past them. Renewal has acknowledged that it did not notify SCSF of Sport England’s concerns.  Renewal has accepted that it was slow to remove references to “pledge” from SCSF’s website and ensuring that it was not repeated elsewhere. Renewal apologises to Sport England for this.

The Council was aware that no funding had been obtained from Sport England by SCSF. That is acknowledged in the Council’s Mayor and Cabinet Report of 25 June 2014 where it states:

“The Council will also need to be satisfied that … all necessary match funding has been obtained by the [SCSF] before the Council’s funding is paid to the [SCSF]. It is proposed that these matters will be negotiated by officers under the authority delegated by this report, with the final terms of the funding agreement being reported back to Mayor & Cabinet for approval prior to the funding agreement being entered into”

Renewal was only informed of Sport England’s concerns with the use of the term “pledge” after the Council had awarded its pledge of £500,000.

Lewisham Council has commissioned an independent external inquiry into matters relating to SCSF and the proposed sports facilities at Energize.

We remain committed to working with Renewal to deliver Energize at New Bermondsey and will be complying fully with any requests from the inquiry for information. We are confident that the inquiry will find that the charity has acted properly at all times.

We look forward to re-starting discussions with various sports organisations and seeing through the delivery of Energize at New Bermondsey.

Following reports in the media regarding Lewisham Council’s proposed use of compulsory purchase powers at New Bermondsey; a member of the public and a media organisation contacted the Charity Commission with concerns about the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation (SCSF), a registered charity. This prompted the Charity Commission to open a case.

The commission contacted the trustees of the SCSF to seek clarification on several points and carried out an in-depth analysis of the charity’s accounts and records. The Charity Commission found:

  • no evidence of money laundering or tax avoidance;
  • the charity’s accounts to be compliant with charity accounting standards;
  • no concerns about the funding of the charity;
  • no concerns with the way the charity manages conflicts of interest;
  • the charity’s statements about Sport England’s support were made in good faith and did not have the intention to mislead; and
  • the charity is operating in compliance with charity law.


The full case report can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/surrey-canal-sports-foundation-limited-case-report/surrey-canal-sports-foundation-limited

The SCSF welcomes the conclusions of the Charity Commission and looks forward to continuing its mission to encourage local communities across Lewisham and Southwark to take part in sports and remains fully committed to seeing through the delivery of Energize at New Bermondsey.

An address and phone number was used as placeholder text on the website during construction. We asked our previous web designers to update this in 2012, but it was overlooked. The correct address for SCSF was used at Companies House and the Charities Commission, and was easily available for anyone wanting to contact SCSF.

Until recently, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees included Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham; Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council; and Baroness Grey-Thompson.

Following negative press reports, the trustees were subjected to personal attacks on social media and through other channels. It began to impact on their other work, and so, with regret, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Sir Steve Bullock and Peter John stepped down. We greatly appreciate their continued support for the aims of the project.

The process to recruit new trustees is underway.

SCSF’s current trustees are:

Steve Norris, Chairman

John Inverdale, Broadcaster

Brendan Jarvis, Head of Real Estate Europe, the Middle East and Africa Barclays

Jordana Malik, Director, Renewal

Steve Backley was introduced to SCSF by the British Olympic Association in 2011. In 2012 he was invited to become a trustee of SCSF and he accepted.  The relevant paperwork for his appointment was sent to him, and he was invited to all board meetings.  Unfortunately, due to other commitments, he was not able to devote time to the project, and SCSF took the decision not to involve him further.  Whilst the signed paperwork from Steve Backley was awaited, his name was included as a trustee in Energize/SCSF materials.  His name did not appear as a trustee at Companies House or the Charity Commission.

SCSF trustees, including the chairman, are not paid.


Steven Norris

Chairman of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation. Former Government Minister

John Inverdale


Brendan Jarvis

Head of Real Estate (EMEA) at Barclays Capital

Jordana Malik

Director, Renewal

Contact us
contact us