Work starts this summer on the multi-million pound Carnival complex featuring a new larger leisure centre and library. As the last phase of Wokingham Borough Council’s ambitious Wokingham town centre regeneration, this new centre will become the local destination of choice for residents’ sport, leisure and entertainment.
The borough council, along with its leisure partner Places Leisure, are pleased to announce that the new complex will feature two swimming pools (a six-lane 25m pool and teaching pool with moveable depth floor and splash pad); a larger fitness suite and specialist group cycling studio; two large studios; a four-court sports hall; a health and wellbeing centre; larger café; and space for children’s parties. There will also be a large library including space for events and activities, a lending library, fun children’s zone and space for exhibitions.
Carnival Pool and Fitness Centre will close its doors for the final time at 4pm on 10 May as its set to be demolished this summer to make way for the new complex. The new flagship building will take around two years to complete.
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for regeneration, said: “Its fantastic news that the Carnival redevelopment will start this summer and will be, once complete, a fantastic state-of-the-art complex for all our residents to enjoy. Throughout the regeneration we have spent a lot of time talking to people and understanding the types of things they would like to see in the town centre. Being able to deliver an amazing new facility like Carnival is a real win for everyone.”
The borough council understands how important it is to have an alternative local facility while Carnival is rebuilt and the redeveloped Bulmershe Leisure Centre will open on 22 April, almost 12 weeks ahead of schedule.
Cllr Michael Firmager, deputy executive member for environment and leisure said: “We have ploughed significant investment into our leisure centres across the borough to ensure our residents have modern, attractive facilities which will support the health, wellbeing and fitness opportunities for everyone. And, it promises to be a vibrant sport, leisure and entertainment hub for Wokingham town centre.
“But the new complex is more than just sports and leisure. The new library will be a fantastic space, offering all the current facilities in an improved environment with much more flexible and useable space which will be perfect for running events and activities. The new library, along with local cultural groups, will also be able to use flexible spaces in the wider centre to host bigger events, lectures and performances, such as the new sports hall which can convert to a 400 seat performance space with tiered bleacher seating.”
Tony Penge, contract manager for Places Leisure, Wokingham, said: “We’re excited that our partners at Wokingham Borough Council will be investing to rebuild Carnival Pool and replace it with a brand new flagship leisure centre. The new plans will build on the great facilities that the local residents have enjoyed over the years at Carnival as well as bringing lots of new features. The new facility will build on the success of the current swim school and fitness provision, creating a first class facility for future generations.”
Current members of the fitness centre, and swim school have been told the current Carnival Pool and Fitness Centre will close in May. While the new centre is being built, former fitness centre users can use facilities at St Crispin’s, Loddon Valley, Arborfield Green, Ryeish Green and Bulmershe leisure centres. There are also pools at Bulmershe and Loddon Valley leisure centres.
Wokingham Library will continue to be based in its current location in Denmark Street until the new complex is complete and ready to move into. More design work will take place closer to the move to look in detail at how the space will be laid out internally.
The car park, bowling alley and Burger King will remain open throughout.