Work on new Carnival Pool plans expected to start next summer

Bulmershe Leisure Centre will reopen before £22 million regeneration project is started

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Carnival Pool Wokingham
An artist's impression of what the new Carnival Pool will look like Picture: Wokingham Borough Council

CONTRACTORS are being sought for a complete revamp of a Wokingham town centre swimming pool. 

Wokingham Borough Council has announced final plans for the regeneration of the Carnival Pool site. Work is expected to start next summer, with the new-look centre opening in the summer of 2022. 

The revised plans are the result of the council taking on board feedback from residents for the initial designs. 

New ideas include a splash pad with fountains and jets for children to play with, a spa area, and a bigger gym with a specialist spin studio. 

The multi-level soft play area will include an adventure climbing facility, while the cafe area will have more seating than originally proposed. 

There will be a specialist acoustic designs for users of the sports hall and studios. 

Carnival Pool Wokingham
An artist’s impression of what the new Carnival Pool will look like Picture: Wokingham Borough Council

It is intended that the sports hall and studios will also be suitable for performance and event spaces for the community. 

And, taking on board criticisms from users of the new Carnival multi-storey car park, there will be improvements for accessibility, including closer blue badge parking, improved changing and easier access into the pools. 

As with the previous plans, the library will move from its Denmark Street home to the new development, but will remain in situ until it is ready to reopen. The Wokingham Paper understands that no plans have been made for the existing library site after the move. 

The car park and bowling alley are unaffected by the works and will remain open throughout. 

Residents give their verdict on Carnival Pool plans

Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for regeneration, said: “Wokingham residents were very clear with us in terms of what they did and didn’t want from the new Carnival Pool development. 

“Since gaining planning consent for the scheme we’ve been working closely with Places Leisure and the Library Service to look at how we can incorporate the great ideas and feedback which came from local people during the planning process. We want to make this a flagship building offering our local community a wide and diverse range of high quality facilities and experiences for all to enjoy

“The updated designs include all the facilities shown in the original plans, such as the larger gym, studio spaces, four court sports hall, two swimming pools, café and a large and flexible library space. But I’m very pleased to say we’ve been also been able to deliver lots and lots more of the ideas that we know local people are going to love into the space.” 

Carnival Pool Wokingham
An artist’s impression of what the new Carnival Pool will look like Picture: Wokingham Borough Council

Praise from council leader

And the leader of the council, Cllr John Halsall, is equally pleased about the plans. 

“It is a really exciting project,” he said. “Work on Bulmershe [in Woodley] will finish before we close Carnival Pool. Every resident should be able to have access to a pool. 

“It’s a fantastically exciting building, with all sorts happening here. All credit to the officers for their very, very innovative approach.

“We have a can-do attitude. I can’t keep up with it all. It’s all positive.”

And Cllr Halsall was also pleased with how work on Elms Field has been progressing. 

“You can’t move for children. It used to be a field used by nobody, it’s a real credit to the officers. We’re very blessed to have such a good team.”

Updated plans on show

The updated plans will be on put on display at Wokingham Library and the Carnival Pool from Thursday, October 10 and can also be viewed online on the Council’s website at www.wokingham.gov.uk. 

The council has also organised events at the above locations to allow people to find out more about the scheme and the great new facilities which will be on offer. 

The events are as follows:

  • Friday, October 18, 11am-2pm, Carnival Pool Leisure Centre 
  • Thursday, October 24, 4pm-8pm, Carnival Pool Leisure Centre 
  • Saturday, October 26, 8am-2pm, Carnival Pool Leisure Centre
  • Friday, November 1, 10am-2pm, Wokingham Library

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