School Children Make a Celebratory Splash at New Pool Opening
READING’S new demountable pool officially opens to the public next Monday 15th January.View photos here: There will be a celebratory launch on Friday morning (12th January) where 60 year 3 children from EP Collier Primary School will make a splash in the pool with the first official swimming lesson. The new 25 metre, 5 lane pool at Rivermead will provide continuity of swimming for central Reading whilst the permanent replacement for Central Pool is built. There is a new swim lesson and club programme at the new pool and in the existing lagoon pool at Rivermead. GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd) - who manage Rivermead Leisure Centre on behalf of the Council - will be operating the demountable pool to complement existing leisure facilities at Rivermead, including the fitness centre, lagoon pool and sports hall. Swimmers access the demountable pool through the existing main entrance at Rivermead. They can also use the other facilities at the site, including the café. The site benefits from ample car parking and a new bus service via the town centre – Buzz42 from Kenavon Drive. Regular Central Pool swimmers have been offered a temporary window (available until 31st March 2018) to transfer their Reading Sport and Leisure membership to GLL membership and use the demountable at the same price they are currently paying. Central Pool will close to the public from the end of January 2018. South Reading Swimming Pool will also reopen at the end of January. Your Reading Passport swimming concession prices will also be available for the new pool alongside the existing swim prices for the lagoon pool.
Councillor Sarah Hacker, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Sport, said:“I’m delighted to celebrate the opening of the new pool, which has been built to a very high standard. I’m looking forward to taking a dip in the pool on Friday! “Pools of this kind have been used successfully in other parts of the country to bridge the gap between old pools closing and new facilities being built. The demountable at Rivermead will provide continuity of swimming in Reading whilst the Council works towards its ambition of delivering modern, new swimming facilities for Reading.”
Paul Shearman, Partnership Manager for GLL in Reading, said:“We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with the Council to support the introduction of the demountable pool at Rivermead. GLL is committed to offering quality services at affordable prices for the local community, and the demountable pool will certainly offer fantastic swimming provision for local people.”
Simon Smith, director of swimming pool specialist World Leisure (UK) Ltd, said:“Demountable pools are a relatively new concept and provide a fantastic solution for local authorities to continue to provide swimming facilities for local residents while upgrading permanent facilities. World Leisure is one of only a handful of demountable pool specialists in the UK, servicing customers including leisure centres, health clubs, hotels, schools, colleges, universities, multi-sport venues and domestic customers, and we are very proud to have worked on this project, which we believe is a fantastic solution for Reading.” For information on Reading Sport & Leisure swim programmes and lessons visit: www.readingleisure.co.uk/swimming For information on swimming and lessons in the new demountable pool at Rivermead Leisure Centre visit: www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/reading/rivermead-leisure-complex
Notes To Editors:
Photo opportunity:Members of the media are invited to a private photo call at 10am at the demountable pool. Please contact Victoria.Nickless@reading.gov.uk if you would like to attend. Photos of Cllr Sarah Hacker and EP Collier School Children at the pool launch will be available on request. The planning application for the demountable pool can be viewed here: http://planning.reading.gov.uk/fastweb_PL/welcome.asp (planning reference number 162323)
Why is a temporary pool necessary?Whilst the Council’s longer term ambition is to provide modern new leisure and swimming facilities, the Council took the decision to provide a demountable because of the timescale involved in delivering an ambitious project of this scale and the high and increasing risk of a forced closure of Central Pool because of its poor condition. Taking forward proposals for the modernisation of leisure facilities involves a complex procurement, design and build process. The current timetable shows the appointment of an operator in 2019 who will then develop detailed proposals and build out the new facilities, as well as operating existing facilities, including Meadway and South Reading leisure centres. The Council is facing unprecedented budget challenges and can no longer invest money in ageing facilities that would only have a limited lifespan. With the planned closure of the ageing facilities at Arthur Hill (in December 2016) and Central Pool (January 2018), the demountable pool at Rivermead will help plug the gap in swimming provision.