It’s set to be a fantastic summer for sports lovers and local families as Wokingham Borough Council announces its multi-million pound sports and leisure facilities at the Carnival Hub will open on 29 June – some nine weeks ahead of schedule. The new Library space expected to follow on soon after that.
The new Wokingham Leisure Centre @ Carnival Hub, which will be managed by Places Leisure, is set to become a real focus for the local community. It will offer a range of fantastic facilities including a six-lane swimming pool with a viewing gallery, a teaching pool with a moveable depth floor to help accommodate a wide range of activities and sessions, a children’s splash pad with water jets and fountains, health suite featuring an aromatic citrus steam room and detoxifying salt room, 120 station fitness suite, a specialist gym for those with long term health conditions, a four-court sports hall, immersive group cycling studio , and two studios for classes and a range of changing facilities.
Details on how to sign up for membership of Wokingham Leisure Centre @ Carnival Hub will be published by Places Leisure shortly
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.
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “It’s been exciting seeing the plans for the Hub come together over the years. Wokingham Leisure Centre @ Carnival Hub is set to become one of our flagship leisure facilities and offers so much more than the old pool building ever could.
“Our contractors Pellikaan worked hard to make sure the leisure elements were ready earlier than the original planned opening of August as we wanted to open them for residents to enjoy the facilities at the Hub over the summer holidays. Especially local families who will be able to enjoy a range of swimming sessions, lessons and fun times in the new children’s splash pad zone.”
Wokingham Library @ Carnival Hub will offer all the favourite facilities the current Denmark Street Library does including dedicated areas for browsing books and resources, computers and study areas, and children’s reading area, along with an exhibition area and improved meeting rooms which can be combined into one to create a bigger space. The new layout has been designed to be as flexible as possible for a range of events and activities as well as offering improved access for all with the new library now located all on one floor.
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.
Due to the work required the current library will require a short closure period as items are transferred across and the new space set up. Details of this, and of how users can access services during this time will be announced closer to the moving date.
Cllr Bill Soane, executive member for neighbourhoods and communities, said: “We know residents love our libraries and we hope this move will give us the opportunity to continue to expand our service, as well as helping to tempt a new audience to come in and find out more about what we offer whilst they are at the Hub.
“We also want to make sure the Hub becomes a real community building which is why, in addition to the leisure and library offer, we’re also placing a focus on the cultural side of the space. The regeneration has given us an opportunity to talk to local groups about how they might use the Hub and make sure it offers the flexibility they need to host special events during the year.”
In addition to local cultural organisations the council has also worked closely with professional theatre advisors to make sure the Hub can easily transform from its core sports and library use into a high-quality performance venue. The sports hall has been fitted out with extending bleacher seating which can accommodate audiences of up to 400 people, along with a flexible modular stage and stage curtaining. The cultural store area alongside the hall has also been designed so it can be used as an additional green room whilst performances take place.
In addition to the seating and stage, a range of high specification equipment will also be available to hire, including lighting hoists and lanterns, PA systems, a sound desk, microphones, projectors and screens. Additional equipment may also be hired in if required.
Information about how local cultural organisations can hire the sports hall or studios for their events, along with details of charges for the hall and various equipment will be published by Places Leisure later this year.
To keep up-to-date with the latest news about the Carnival Hub’s opening make sure to sign up to receive our connect newsletters.
More from Wokingham Borough Council
Stay connected to the communities around you. Enjoy the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic, general news, updates and highlights straight in your inbox. Subscribe to our Wokingham Borough Connect newsletters now.