Swimming Pool Re-Opens at South Reading Leisure Centre after Major Improvement Works

THE swimming pool in south Reading re-opens today, Thursday 1st February, following major improvement work.

There will be a celebration launch for the community on Saturday 10th February to tie in with the start of half term, with two free splash-tastic pool sessions available on the day to mark the reopening:

  • Double Trouble Inflatable 12.15 – 1.15 pm (numbers limited please book in advance, suitable for competent swimmers age 8+ able to swim 10m unaided)
  • Free public swim 2 – 3.30 pm

Book at the leisure centre reception or call 0118 9373399 to reserve a place on the free Double Trouble Inflatable session on 10th February.

The pool at the leisure centre in Northumberland Avenue has been closed since the beginning of October 2017 for essential maintenance work, including the replacement of key pool equipment.

The Whitley pool and gym facilities, formally ‘Academy Sport Leisure Centre’ operated and managed by the John Madejski Academy since 2007, was transferred back into the management of Reading Sport and Leisure in June 2017. It will now return to its former title of ‘South Reading Leisure Centre’.

During the four month closure period, the Council replaced much of the original plant and equipment at the pool as part of a major investment programme to allow the pool to operate in future years.

All other sports facilities at the centre, including the gym, exercise classes, sports hall and 3G football pitches, have transfered over to the Council’s management.

Existing Academy Sport members will be able to use the updated facilities and activities within their current membership packages and at other Reading Sport and Leisure Centres. These are at Palmer Park Sport Stadium and Meadway Sports Centre. More information on swimming programmes across Reading Sport and Leisure pools can be found at www.readingleisure.co.uk

Councillor Sarah Hacker, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Sport, said: “I’m delighted the newly revamped and branded pool is open. Much of the fabric of the pool at Academy Sport has been in place since it opened in 1983 and needed complete replacement. We took the opportunity to carry out a number of improvement works at the same time to avoid future inconvenience.  Swimmers can look forward to a much more pleasant swimming environment and more reliable facilities.

“These works form part of the Council’s major investment programme to modernise pools and leisure facilities across Reading. We are investing in existing facilities and this January also saw the opening of the new demountable pool at Rivermead.

“We also have ambitious longer term plans to build modern new swimming facilities. This Council investment means future operating costs will be significantly cheaper, which also means a saving for the Council and the council tax payer in the long-term.

“I look forward to joining in with the celebrations at the pool on the 10th February. The free swim sessions will be a great start to the half term!”

Refurbishment work

Major works carried out at South Reading Leisure Centre included the complete replacement of the boilers which heat the pool, and the remainder of the plant. Both form part of the original fabric of the pool when it opened 34 years ago in 1983 and were now beyond their expected lifespan.

Similarly, the air handling system at the pool was failing and beyond repair. The Council have fitted a complete modern new ventilation system to create a more pleasant swimming environment for pool users. The pool filtration plant and water distribution systems have also been upgraded. The pools changing rooms have been improved and new lighting has been installed throughout to make the environment lighter and brighter.

Ends

Notes

Photo opportunity: There will be a photo opportunity on Saturday 10th February between 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957