The multi-million pound Carnival Hub, Wokingham Borough Council’s flagship new community building, bringing together a large leisure centre and a new home for Wokingham library, along with flexible cultural use of the space, is reaching the final phase of completion.
The new Wokingham Leisure Centre @ Carnival Hub, is the latest phase in the council's ambitious plans to improve leisure facilities for residents, which has seen more than £50million invested in projects like the new Bulmershe Leisure Centre in Woodley as well as centres at Ryeish Green and Arborfield; improvements at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre; the new BXGFit gym; Cantley Park enhancements; and 3G pitches in Arborfield and Emmbrook.
The council has made a step-change in its level of investment during the past few years despite facing financial challenges, and continues to invest significantly in sport and leisure facilities compared with many council’s around the country that are reducing investment.
The new Wokingham Leisure Centre @ Carnival Hub, which will be managed by Places Leisure, include swimming pools, children’s splash pad, a health suite (salt and steam room), fitness studios including group cycling studio, a café, a dual-purpose hall for sports and 400 seat cultural performances.
There has been a lot of activity on site during the last few weeks as the hub enters the final phase of construction. The main pool has been filled, while the studios on the first floor are now complete and ready for the fitness equipment to arrive in early June. The main gym area is also nearing completion.
Owing to a slight delay in construction due to national issues with labour and materials, the leisure centre is now expected to open in mid July – the date to be confirmed as soon as its possible. There was also a delay in connecting the electricity supply which was only connected in mid-May so more time is needed to test equipment.
Cllr Ian Shenton, executive member for environment, sport and leisure, said: “We’re really excited about the Carnival Hub opening its doors this summer. To progress the construction of such a large building during the pandemic is no mean feat and although we are facing a short delay in completion, we are still way ahead of schedule of opening this incredible sport and leisure facility. We continue to invest significantly in our sport and leisure facilities. The Hub will be a real focal point for the community and will have state of the art facilities to help residents to improve their health and wellbeing.”
The new leisure centre will be offering a range of memberships and the ability to book activities in advance. Details on how to sign up for membership of Wokingham Leisure Centre @ Carnival Hub are available on the Places Leisure website. For anyone who joins before the centre opens, Places Leisure are pleased to offer free use and immediate access to our other leisure centres including St Crispin’s, Arborfield Green, Ryeish Green, Bulmershe and Loddon Valley. Your first Direct Debit will then be collected on the day of opening the new site.
Places Leisure will also be emailing those who have registered their interest, or signed up for membership, to keep them updated as the Hub progresses towards opening in July.
Anyone wanting to find out more about memberships, see images, plans and take a virtual tour of the new facilities before the opening can head down to St Crispin’s Leisure Centre where the Places Leisure team will be delighted to show you. No booking needed, pop-in Monday to Friday between 9am and 9pm.
The Hub will also include a large café in the entrance area, changing places toilet facility, and a brand-new home for Wokingham Library, along with flexible cultural use of spaces such as the sports hall.
The library is set to open on schedule later in the summer after their fit out is completed and dates agreed to transfer books and equipment from the existing site to the Hub. To get the new library ready, over 1km of shelving needs to be installed, ready to hold over 55,000 library books and items.
To keep up-to-date with the latest news about the Carnival Hub’s opening make sure to sign up to receive the council’s email newsletters.
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