Earls Court is London’s latest sports hotspot with the launch of Padel boules and beach rugby

  • Earls Court will be London’s newest hotspot for competitive socialising with the arrival of Padel, boules and beach rugby open to all members of the public
  • In celebration of the Rugby World Cup, visitors will also be able to enjoy free outdoor live screenings of key matches at Empress Space
  • The activities, brought forward by The Earls Court Development Company, celebrate Earls Court's legacy of hosting world-class sporting events

This autumn, Earls Court will be home to three competitive socialising activities – Padel, boules and beach rugby. The new facilities will provide opportunities for local people and Londoners to partake in and enjoy sport.

A city beach has been installed on Empress Space which is being programmed with free tag rugby tournaments, children’s rugby coaching sessions and Rugby World Cup fan zones screening key Rugby World Cup matches for free. Fans will be able to gather with friends and enjoy the games on the big screen, alongside a lively atmosphere with drinks from the bar and an array of delightful food options. The beach rugby programme is being delivered in collaboration with PlayaX, a rugby social club co-founded by former England Rugby international Paul Sampson.

The beach will remain open throughout the week as a free, public space for the local community to enjoy. Beach rugby is a 5 a-side, ten-minute tag rugby game. The most inclusive of any team sport, it suits all ages and abilities – the sand is a perfect leveller allowing all players to fully enjoy the experience.

An outdoor Padel showcase court, in collaboration with Padel Social Club, will also be open on site from today. Padel, the world’s fastest growing sport, is often described as a mix of tennis and squash and is an all-inclusive sport accessible to everyone. Padel Social Club pride themselves on building inclusive Padel communities where everyone from die-hard players to first timers are welcome to play and socialise. The showcase court will sit alongside the Padel Social Club bar and social areas where players and spectators are welcome to relax before and after their games.

To bring a touch of French tradition to Central London visitors will also be able to make the most of free-to-play boules courts. In collaboration with London business, Jack & Boule, Earls Court’s unique boules courts will be open to the public on a first come first served basis every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of October. Fun for all ages and skill levels, boules makes for a fantastic sport of skill, patience and tactics as players can outplay their competitors to get their ball closest to the target and knock their rivals out of the way. A pop-up bar serving Siren Craft Brew beers, Cider, Prosecco, Bellinis, draught Pimm's, and a selection of soft drink, will also be on site provided by Jack & Boule.

The new sporting facilities are a great addition to Empress Space, a dynamic public space in Earls Court, which is also home to the groundbreaking BBC Earth Experience, food trucks from rotating vendors, and captivating public art by Baker & Borowski.

Rob Heasman, CEO of The Earls Court Development Company said:

 “This autumn, we are continuing to honour the rich tradition of sports and entertainment that have defined Earls Court. The site has been home to not one but two Olympic games, and it’s fantastic we’re able to build on this sporting legacy by bringing Padel, boules and beach rugby to site, alongside further plans in motion which we look forward to announcing later this year.”


Beach Rugby
Every Saturday and Sunday for seven weeks, starting 16 September 2023

  • Time: 11am – 4pm
  • Location: Empress Space, Earls Court, SW6 1TT
  • Bookings can be made directly here.

Rugby World Cup Screenings
Starting 23 September for six weekends

  • Time: 4pm – 10pm
  • Location: Empress Space, Earls Court, SW6 1TT
  • Key match screenings will be listed on the ECDC website here.

Boules Courts
Courts open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for seven weeks, starting 16 September 2023

  • Time: 11am – 4pm
  • Location: Empress Space, Earls Court, SW6 1TT
  • Cost: Free to play, first come first served

Padel Courts
Courts open 20 September. Bookings can be made directly here.

  • Location: Empress Space, Earls Court, SW6 1TT
  • Cost: £60 per hour (£15 per person)

- ENDS- Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries please contact London Communications Agency:

Hannah Sebastian
07737 892126

About The Earls Court Development Company
The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) is an Earls Court-based business, responsible for driving the development of the Earls Court masterplan forward on behalf of Earls Court Partnership Limited. Earls Court Partnership Limited is the joint venture between Delancey (on behalf of its client funds and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) and Transport for London (TfL).

In February 2023, after over two years of discussion and engagement with local communities, ECDC presented the emerging designs for the masterplan of the derelict 40-acre site. The masterplan will evolve over the course of 2023, with a planning application due to be submitted by the end of the year. The draft masterplan proposes:

  • New parks and public gardens bringing more open and green spaces to the site
  • Other public spaces including a new entrance square opposite Earl’s Court station that will retain and celebrate the steps to the Exhibition Centres, set to become a new but familiar West London public space and a key connection point through to Earl’s Court Road
  • A variety of new performance and community venues and cultural programmes that attract and nurture talent.
  • 15,000 new jobs in a new economic centre for West London, and 2,000 construction jobs during the build period
  • 4,500 new homes to cater for all needs, targeting 35% affordable across all tenures.
  • A plan that delivers for London and the UK, projecting £1.2billion per year GVA to the economy and £100million of annual spend into the local economy.

The site is 40 acres, with the total scheme set to deliver around 680,000 sq m (7.35m st feet) of development. The plans propose building on just 40% of the site, leaving as much space as possible for public open space. ECDC’s proposals are for a truly mixed-use scheme of around 60% residential and 40% commercial, culture, community, and retail space.

The economic projections of the proposals for Earls Court show significant public benefits for London and the wider UK. The scheme will contribute £1.2bn per year Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy with £37.2m per year spending by workers to the local economy.

What’s happening at Earls Court?
Earls Court is London’s biggest redevelopment opportunity, and there is an opportunity to create something extraordinary on this 40-acre site. ECDC has already made progress in the early delivery of community and cultural programmes on site and across the local area. This activity includes:

  • The BBC Earth Experience opened on site on 30 March this year with their attraction Seven Worlds, One Planet. State-of-the-art projection technology takes visitors on a 360-degree journey, guided by the narration of Sir David Attenborough. Tickets for the attraction are now on sale.
  • In November 2022, ECDC opened the award-winning production of ‘The Great Christmas Feast’ by The Lost Estate at the former Mannequin Factory. The current production – ‘The Greatest Night of Jazz’ – opened on 9 March 2023 and will run until 30 September 2023.
  • A vibrant pop-up high street on Lillie Road also offers food, drink, and shopping. One unit, called The Pop Up, is a free-to-use retail space, providing a pressure-free environment for new traders.
  • Launched a portrait focus Artist in Residence programme in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery offering artists £3,000 a month for a three-month residency. Previous resident artists have included Helen McCallum, Sol Golden-Sato and Adam Hennessey.
  • Underbelly Festival has had two successful summers at Earls Court, transforming the site into a free public beach and open-air cinema alongside street food traders, pop-up bars and games for all ages, with over 160,000 people visiting the festival site over two years.
  • The Earls Court community fund of £180,000 is distributed amongst local charities annually since 2021.
  • In June 2022, we opened a new Community Hub in West Kensington, a flexible space run by and for residents – hosting a range of mostly free activities and classes every week for local people.
  • In summer 2022, we launched Empress Studios – a creative workspace initiative that transformed six Victorian townhouses into 46 affordable studios for local creatives and innovators.
  • Brought the space in front of Earl’s Court Station (Warwick Road entrance) back to life with art installations, first hosting the Pleasure Garden in summer 2021, followed by Star’s of Earl’s Court in 2022 and most recently a community-led mural by artist Lucy Oates.
  • A partnership with London Design Festival (the first time LDF has ever come to Earl’s Court) in 2022.