Work on the last phase of Wokingham Borough Council’s multi-million pound town centre regeneration project continues to progress quickly, with Mid Group announced as the main contractor for the residential phase of the works on the former Carnival Pool site.
Alongside this, work is progressing well on the Carnival Hub, the new facility which will be home to a sports and cultural centre. New facilities include swimming pools, a spa, fitness studios, a café, a dual purpose hall for sports and 400 seat cultural performances and a up library. Pellikaan, the contractor, is now starting to put the steel structure on site.
“It’s great to see how work is progressing on site as Carnival is going to be a real focal point for all of the community,” said Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for regeneration. “In addition to this being a fantastic leisure centre and library complex, we have also designed these new spaces to have the flexibility to host the cultural and community events, which we know are so popular locally.”
“Being able to appoint Mid Group is a great opportunity for the council. Their experience of delivering complex residential projects, and of working closely with other contractors, will help make the most of this town-centre site. It will also help ensure the smooth delivery of these properties as they work alongside Pellikaan who are building the Carnival Hub, minimising disruption to neighbours and the wider town.”
Steven Hearn, Mid Group’s CEO said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council on this exciting project. The Mid Group ethos is all about Modern Methods of Construction and we will be using the latest BIM technology and offsite manufacturing to deliver these high-quality homes that will be truly sustainable. We look forward to starting on site and further developing our relationship with Wokingham Borough Council.”
The residential proposals for Carnival include 55 new apartments alongside the new pedestrianised promenade that links the site through to Elms Field and the town centre, and creates an improved pedestrian access route to Super Bowl and the Carnival car park.
The original designs were revised in 2020 in response to resident feedback and to make the building even more energy efficient as an outcome of to the council’s ambition to be net carbon zero by 2030.
Cllr Haitham Taylor continued: “The residential elements of the regeneration are incredibly important. Not only will they will deliver 55 new homes in the town centre, right next to the park and the fantastic new facilities at Carnival, but also help with funding the new leisure centre, library and the play area on Elms Field.
“It’s the sale of new homes, such as the ones at Carnival and Elms Field, which are helping us deliver the entire regeneration at no cost to the taxpayer, as well as allowing us to retain the commercial assets, which generate an income of over £2million a year, rising to £5million to £6million a year as the costs of building are paid off.
“Whilst we know some were concerned that this approach meant that there wasn’t the funding to include affordable housing in the scheme at Carnival, we feel the ability to deliver so many town centre improvements and new community facilities for all residents to benefit from for the future was the right approach to take for the longer term.”
More from Wokingham Borough Council
Stay connected to the communities around you. Enjoy the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic, general news, updated and highlights straight to your inbox. Subscribe to out Wokingham Borough Connect newsletters now.