The Wokingham Leisure Centre at Carnival Hub in Wellington Road, central Wokingham, has officially opened to the public.
Designed by HLM Architects and built by Pellikaan Construction Ltd, the flagship state-of-the-art new centre features two swimming pools, gym area, a variety of large fitness studios, specialist group cycling room, a spa, health and wellbeing centre complete with sauna and steam room, a four-court sports hall that can also be used as a 400-seat performance venue, viewing gallery and a café at the main entrance.
The multi-million-pound Carnival Hub community complex forms a significant part of the the Wokingham town centre regeneration vision.
Wokingham’s town centre regeneration vision aims to meet the evolving needs and preferences of residents and visitors. The heart of the site – the Carnival Hub, replaces an ageing 1990s building that was in need of constant repair. It brings together an outstanding new leisure facility, and a new library that is currently undergoing fit-out.
Transforming the previously dark, oppressive and out of date atmosphere, the new leisure centre offers an appealing, light and airy space that is accessible to all.
It features the main six-lane 25m pool – with raised spectator seating along its entire length – as well as a teaching pool with moveable depth floor and a children’s splash pad with fountains and water jets. Designed in line with Sport England standards, the pools represent a transformational upgrade for both the local community and Wokingham’s swimming training and competition facilities.
The complex is the result of years of consultations with local residents and businesses to ensure that it aligned with what they hoped to see in a new leisure facility. In approaching the designs, HLM worked closely with Wokingham Borough Council to help support its ambitions to reduce carbon emissions, maximise energy efficiency and lower operating costs. Additional revisions included new air source heat pumps and solar panels, creating one of the UK’s most energy-efficient leisure centres and driving vastly improved performance across the site, which has achieved massive carbon reductions of 117% and surpassed government targets.
Claire Wakelin, HLM London Studio Director said: “It’s exciting to see this fantastic project come to life after 18 months of works. The flagship new leisure centre and library complex in the centre of Wokingham will regenerate the local area and public realm, creating a new focal point for the community. A major design objective for us was to deliver an exceptional, sustainable and modern facility within the vibrant Carnival Hub for residents and visitors to enjoy for years to come. The centre provides an enhanced offering and a welcoming environment where people can have fun, recharge, and where sporting fans can train and compete. Importantly, it is designed with flexibility in mind to accommodate the wide range of needs and activities of the local area, also incorporating a large space for cultural use.”
“This is a really exciting moment for the residents of Wokingham Borough, who have been waiting patiently for this state of the art leisure facility to open its door in the heart of the town. The new centre has something for everyone regardless of your age or fitness levels; and I hope it will exceed everyone’s expectations.”
Cllr Ian Shenton, newly appointed executive member for environment, sport and leisure