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Carnival Hub recognised as finalist for industry award

Carnival Hub recognised as finalist for industry award

28 October 2022
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The Carnival Hub, Wokingham Borough Council’s flagship community building, has been named as a finalist for the Thames Valley Property Awards.


The multi-million-pound hub, which is home to a leisure centre and library, opened its doors in July. It is in the running to win Development of the Year at the awards, which take place on Wednesday 16 November.


The development was part of the regeneration of Wokingham town centre and saw the demolition and replacement of the former leisure centre, which was no longer fit for purpose or in line with the council’s environmental aims.


The council was nominated for the award by Roberts Limbrick, the sport, leisure and community architects. It also worked with contractor Pelikaan Construction Ltd and project managers Faithful and Gould, while HLM were the master planning and landscape architects.


The hub received high praise for the quality of the facilities, which include a state-of-the-art leisure centre, library, sports hall, café and swimming pools. There is also a spa, a large fitness suite and a specialist gym for residents with long-term health issues.


Cllr Clive Jones, leader of the council, said: “We are delighted to see the Carnival Hub recognised as a finalist for Development of the Year at the Thames Valley Property Awards. The success of the project has involved the hard work of a significant number of individuals and partners that we have worked with to deliver a flagship community building using a modern approach.


“The project is an excellent example of how the council works with a wide range of partners to deliver remarkable results that benefit the local community and the environment. We are very proud to have a facility that offers such a variety of services to our residents and also of the hub’s green credentials.”


Carnival Hub represented the council’s desire to deliver one of the most energy efficient leisure centres in the UK and a vast improvement on the old site in Wellington Road, with features including solar panels, air source heat pumps on the roof and significantly improving the thermal fabric of the building.


All of these changes saw a huge 87 per cent reduction of Co2/m2 in operation. Actions that contributed to the reduction of the base energy rate included:


  • Enhancing the thermal performance
  • Managing external glazing to balance user activity with solar gains and heat loss
  • Reducing the area of external fabric and the building volume

After the council declared a climate emergency in 2019, the Carnival Hub project was reviewed to ensure it met the desire to do everything possible to reduce carbon emissions.


The library, which relocated from Denmark Street, opened in September. It provides all the same services at the old site, but it has larger meeting rooms and more space to hold events, having recently hosted talks for the Wokingham Children’s Book Festival.


The Thames Valley Property Awards is a commercial property event, which recognises agents, developers, planers, consultants and more. There are 18 categories, with the Carnival Hub up against four other projects for the Development of the Year prize. This includes the Shinfield Creative Media Hub.


The Development of the Year category recognises non-residential developments and judges will assess the contribution the build has made to the region.

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