A YMCA centre is to undergo a £400,000 transformation this summer, writes Garrick Alder.

Work on the Hawker Centre, Kingston, is set to begin this July and last 18 months.

At the end of it, the Lower Ham Road facility will have a new purpose built studio, a state-of-the-art soft play facility, improved cafe and bar facilities and a fully refurbished gym, The most striking part of the plan is to convert the building’s main hall into a two-storey soft play facility combining slides, cannons, ball pits and rope bridges.

Centre operator YMCA London South West (YMCA LSW) is doing the work which will include a sensory room, designed specifically for children with autism and other special needs.