Last night (Thursday) Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive decided the future of Bulmershe Leisure Centre in Woodley.
It was agreed, subject to budget agreements to be decided early next year, that Bulmershe Leisure Centre be demolished (subject to a successful planning application) and replaced with a new leisure facility containing a sports hall, six-lane swimming pool, gym and fitness studio.
The leisure centre underwent some cosmetic refurbishment, incorporating new facilities and equipment in 2014, thanks to investments from the borough council and 1-Life. But at that time the council promised to look at future plans to sustain and improve the centre further.
The centre was built in the 1970s and its facilities are tired and in need of investment to bring it up to a better standard to help the council support its vision ‘to create a great place to live, an even better place to do business’ and the borough-wide health and wellbeing strategy.
Cllr Angus Ross, executive member for environment, said: "I'd like to thank everyone who spoke to us about the future of Bulmershe Leisure Centre. We received some invaluable comments from people who either use the facility, or plan on using it in the future."
During the consultation period, representatives from the council visited several leisure centres already refurbished or rebuilt by other local authorities. These were centres recommended by Sport England.
Cllr Ross added: "These visits, and the information gained, were invaluable to scope the options and to identify the decisions taken by authorities and the risks they faced. By carrying out this research, and collecting feedback from our residents, we hope we can not only build something to be proud of but also a facility that improves health, wellbeing and quality of life."