Rivermead Pool Fill 1

Reading schoolchildren make a splash filling the new Rivermead Pools

  • Rivermead’s two new pools will be filled with approximately 1,700,000 litres of water over a 12 day period.
  • 25-metre pool and teaching and diving pool on schedule to open summer 2024.

The new pools at Reading’s flagship Rivermead Leisure Centre will be filled with water over the next few days in preparation for this summer’s grand opening.

Over a 12 day period, the 25-metre, 8-lane main swimming pool, and the teaching and diving pool will be filled with the equivalent of approximately 1,700,000 bottles of water.

Rivermead Pool Fill Oxford Rd Community School

Schoolchildren from Oxford Road Community School, alongside representatives from Reading Council, Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) and Pellikaan Construction gathered around the poolside today to celebrate the pool’s filling. The opening date for the two pools and splash pad zone will be announced over the coming weeks.

The new pools form part of the Council’s £40m investment in the town’s leisure facilities, which is delivering improvements at South Reading Leisure Centre and Meadway Sports Centre as well as the extended and revitalised Palmer Park Leisure Centre and Stadium with new 25-metre community pool. Rivermead Leisure Centre’s dry side facilities, including a 6-court sports hall and a 120-station gym with 3 studios, new soft play and café, opened last year.

These modern facilities are designed with a focus on accessibility and sustainability, to benefit everyone in Reading. The Council is not only funding new facilities, but also investing in targeted activities to reduce health inequalities.

Key features of the new Rivermead pools include:

  • 25m 8-lane main pool with partially movable floor from poolside level to 1.80m deep to allow a range of activities including swimming lessons, community groups, swimming competitions, synchronised swimming, rehabilitation exercises, water aerobics, and much more.
  • Teaching and diving pool with 5 metre dive tower; 3 metre springboard and two 1 metre spring dives, with completely moveable floor from poolside level to 3.80m.
  • Dive tower safety gate to prevent access to the tower when the dive pool floor is raised.
  • Splash pad fun zone for younger children.
  • State of the art disabled facilities including a designated ‘changing places’ room, which will house an accessible toilet and shower and changing table and hoist. There will also be ‘pool pods’ for both the main pool and diving pool to enable swimmers with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, to get in and out of the water easily and independently. The new facilities are fully wheelchair accessible, with level access between the changing rooms and the pool.
  • Two spectator seating areas able to seat over 250 including 7 wheelchair accessible spaces.

Rivermead Pool Fill 2

Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture, said: “It was wonderful to share the excitement of filling the pools with local schoolchildren. They can’t wait to try out this fantastic new facility, and of course we are also looking forward to getting the pools and splash pad open for the whole community to enjoy."

"The new Rivermead Leisure Centre represents a significant investment in Reading by the council and provides swimming pools that are both modern and fully fit for the future. These two new pools are part of our commitment to ensuring that everyone in the community has access to the resources they need to lead healthy and active lives, and we haven’t forgotten the fun – the splash pad is sure to become a family favourite!”

Craig Woodward, Partnership Manager for GLL said "Progress on the swimming pools at Rivermead Leisure Centre is looking impressive, and we can't wait to be able to welcome the public and clubs in. We are very excited to be able to announce an opening date soon"

 Gert-Jan Peeters, director of Pellikaan UK, said “Filling the pools is a great milestone for us and we are very pleased that the schoolchildren from Oxford Road Community school are involved with the start of it. The opening time for the pools is coming closer, and we look forward to seeing the people from Reading using the pools.”