THE WINNING designs on a public vote for a brand-new outdoor gym and a refurbished BMX track at Longbarn Lane Recreation Ground in South Reading can be revealed today (Mon Sep 28th).
Earlier this month residents were given the opportunity to pick their favourite from a range of options for new facilities at Longbarn Lane Rec, after the Council announced an overall £155,000 investment in the local community.
Consultation letters encouraging people to cast their vote were sent to addresses in Longbarn Lane, Canterbury Road, Home Farm Close, Tavistock Road and Yelverton Road. Displays were also on show at Hexham Community Centre, South Reading Leisure Centre, John Madjeski Academy and Reading Girls School.
The winning design for the new outdoor gym was by The Great Outdoor Gym Company (option 1) which received 96 votes, just 14 more than the design by Fresh Air Fitness (option 2).
The scheme is designed to offer the opportunity for free and accessible exercise for all, promoting physical activity. It boasts an Energy Spinning Bike which can charge a smart-phone and link to the Activate App to allow keep fit enthusiasts to track their own personal workout.
The gym also benefits from a family zone and an inclusive zone which will enable everyone to make use of the equipment. The outdoor gym can be used by all ages and abilities – benefitting from coloured floor markings, as well as large, colourful signage on equipment, wider seats and transfer handles for ease of use and wheelchair accessible equipment.
Work on the new outdoor gym is expected to begin in November and be complete by the end of 2020.
For the BMX track refurbishment, the design by Clark and Kent (option 2) received a total of 116 votes and was the clear winner ahead of the ForteTrailcapes design (option 1) which attracted 61 votes.
The refurbished BMX track will enable all BMX riders, advanced, experienced or new, to be safe and have fun. Work on the new track is also due to begin in November and riders should be able to enjoy it by the end of the year.
Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m delighted to announce the two winning designs which obviously proved really popular with the local community.
“The Council places great value on facilities in parks and open spaces and we know the huge benefits they bring to people living in a tight urban environment. These enhancements for Longbarn Lane Rec are positive place-making that has a direct benefit on people’s health and well-being. That is always a win-win for residents.
“At a time when keeping fit and healthy has never been more important, for both young and old, it is fantastic that Longbarn Lane Recreation Ground will benefit from a new outdoor gym and a refurbished BMX track. The fact that the winning designs have been selected by the local community itself makes it even more exciting, because it means they are invested in them. Work on both facilities will start shortly and I can’t wait to see them being enjoyed when complete!”
The winning schemes will be on display at South Reading Leisure Centre during normal opening hours (Monday-Friday 08:00-13:00 / 16:15-20:00, weekends 08:00-12:00).