Palmer Park Community Pool filling

Reading school children help fill the new Palmer Park Community Pool

  • East Reading’s new community pool filled with 325,000 litres of water over a five-day period.
  • Palmer Park Leisure Centre and Stadium on schedule to open in December.

THE NEW 25-metre community swimming pool at the new Palmer Park Leisure Centre and Stadium was filled with water this month, in anticipation of the facility’s opening in December.

School children and staff from Alfred Sutton primary school, alongside representatives from Reading Council, GLL and Pellikaan Construction, gathered eagerly around the poolside on Thursday 3 November to celebrate the pool’s official filling.

  • Watch a video of the progress at Palmer Park so far here: 

Over a five-day period, the 25-metre, 6-lane community swimming pool, which has a maximum depth of 1.2 metres, was filled with the equivalent of 325,000 litre bottles of water!

Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture, said: “It was wonderful to share in the children’s excitement at seeing their brand new pool filling with water, and I want to thank them for their enthusiasm, excellent questions, and help with the hose!

"We promised the residents of Reading a community pool at Palmer Park and, despite the challenges of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis,  we are now just weeks away from delivering on that promise. I am delighted that residents will be able to enjoy the new and improved facilities over the Christmas break and those of us making New Year resolutions to go to the gym more often will also have a 100-station gym with beautiful views across the park. Just a few weeks now until we can open the doors and welcome the community in!”  

Craig Woodward, GLL’s Partnership Manager for Reading said: “The pool filling is an exciting milestone on the road to delivering state-of-the-art leisure facilities to the people of Reading. The benefits that these soon-to-open new facilities at Palmer Park will offer the local community are huge.  

“Reading’s improved provision will offer an inviting and welcoming environment, for all local residents to enjoy, in addition to enabling us to provide dedicated courses and activities that encourage better health and wellbeing.”

Gert-Jan Peeters, director of Pellikaan UK, said: “It is great to reach this important stage of filling the community pool with water. We are now in the final stages of the projects, always a very busy time for us. The collaboration with our subcontractors, as well as Reading Borough Council and operator GLL, is going very well and we are confident that the centre will be a welcome addition for the local community by the end of this year.”

In addition to the accessible new community pool and the refurbishment of the existing stadium building, there will be:

  • A 100-station gym;
  • An activity zone for children with party rooms;
  • New changing rooms, toilets and Changing Places facility;
  • A new café and information hub;
  • A new pedestrianised plaza area surrounding the centre;
  • And a new wayfinding route, to enable people with visual impairments to easily navigate the route across the park.

In September solar panels and an Air Source Heat Pump were installed on the new roof. As part of the Council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency, the sustainable measures we’ve invested in will equate to a 50% reduction in the carbon emission rate of the new pool’s heating system. An air source heat pump is used to provide the heat source for warming the water temperature, reducing the carbon footprint of the pool.

For regular updates on the leisure project visit or follow the Council on social media @ReadingCouncil Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or GLL at @Better_Reading


Notes to editors


The whole pool filling process involves adding 250mm of cold mains water per day and once full, the process the filtration system begins to pump the water around the pipework. The water is then chemically dosed and passed through a heat exchange. After 2-3 weeks the water eventually reaches 29 degrees, with the air handling units heating the surrounding room to a comfortable 32 degrees.