Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive has approved plans for a new leisure centre in Woodley to replace the outdated Bulmershe Leisure Centre.
The decision was made at last night’s executive to replace the existing outdated facility in Woodley with a new state of the art centre featuring a sports hall, a 25m six lane swimming pool, a 75 station gym, two studios, a teaching pool with movable floor, and a café.
The leisure centre underwent some cosmetic refurbishment, incorporating new facilities and equipment in 2014, thanks to investments from the borough council and 1-Life. But at that time the council promised to look at future plans to sustain and improve the centre further.
The centre was built in the 1970s and its facilities are tired and in need of investment to bring it up to a better standard to help the council support its vision ‘to create a great place to live, an even better place to do business’ and the borough-wide health and wellbeing strategy.
The new leisure centre would benefit The Bulmershe School and the local community, including young people, families and the elderly population. It would also help increase physical activity in the Woodley and surrounding area including Earley as well as help those with long-term health conditions
Council leisure facilities offer many preventative services, which contribute to savings within the its social care budget which are severely under pressure
The future of the leisure centre was put to public consultation in 2016, where the council looked into the appetite for a partial or full closure of the centre to allow it to be rebuilt or refurbished, as well as exploring the usage of the facilities, and how numbers could be improved. During the consultation period representatives from the council visited several leisure centres already refurbished or rebuilt by other local authorities. These were centres recommended by Sport England.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for environment, sports, environmental health, leisure and libraries, said: “I am pleased that we have decided to build this new leisure centre which will be a great improvement over the current facility. I would like to thank the local Members and those other residents who participated in the consultation last year for their support and encouragement.”
These proposals are subject to planning permission.