Residents can look forward to improvements across Wokingham Borough’s leisure centres after Places for People Leisure began the running of centres earlier this month (1 May).
The new 15-year contract with Places for People Leisure covers Loddon Valley Leisure Centre, Carnival Pool and Fitness Centre, St Crispin’s Sports Centre, and Bulmershe Leisure Centre, as well as the new Arborfield Green Leisure Centre and Ryeish Leisure Centre. As part of the contract, improvements are already underway. New gym equipment has already been fitted at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre and St Crispin’s Sports Centre. This is on top of two planned brand new replacement facilities at Bulmershe Leisure Centre which is due to open Summer 2020 and Carnival Pool and Fitness Centre in Autumn 2022.
Significant investment into the existing leisure facilities are also planned elsewhere. Ryeish Leisure Centre is being refurbished with a state-of-the-art fitness suite, dance studio, and full size 3G pitch ahead of its re-opening this summer. A new gym along with a 3G sports pitch, an 8 court sports hall, group cycling and exercise studios are now open at Arborfield Green, as well as floodlit tennis and netball pitches
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for environment, sports, environmental health, leisure and libraries, said: “Since the contract began at the beginning of the month we have been impressed with the work already completed by Places for People Leisure to improve facilities at our centres for everyone to enjoy.
“We’re looking forward to working closely with Places for People over the next 15 years to create high quality and affordable facilities for residents to enjoy.”
John Bates, Business Development Director at Places for People Leisure commented, “We are looking forward to working in partnership with the Council to enhance the leisure provision in the area and are excited to introduce new initiatives such as under 8s free swimming, which are designed to increase accessibility and meet our social mission of ‘creating active places and healthy people’. We hope that all members of the community will come along to enjoy the broad range of facilities and programmes that the centres have to offer.”
Places for People Leisure is a social enterprise which is passionate about improving opportunities for communities to be physically active. It is one of the largest leisure operators in the UK managing a portfolio of more than 100 leisure facilities for local authorities across the country. As a social enterprise its focus is on improving residents’ health and wellbeing.
*Photo L to R: Tony Penge, Places for People Leisure; Beverley Thompson, service manager – sport and leisure; John Bates, Places for People Leisure; Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for environment, sports, environmental health, leisure and libraries; Graham Ebers, director – corporate services; Duncan MacKay, Places for People Leisure.