A DEMOUNTABLE pool designed to fill the void for the town's dwindling swimming resources is nearing completion.

Rivermead's new 25 metre five-lane pool is expected to open to the public on January 15, with further plans to open two new pools in Reading by 2020 also gaining momentum.

The temporary pool will provide a facility for the town's swimmers in the New Year after Arthur Hill Pool was closed due to financial pressures.

Councillor Sarah Hacker, lead member for Culture and Sport, said: “I am pleased to see the new pool is on track for its opening in early January, as the council works towards delivering modern, new swimming facilities for Reading.

"Pools of this kind have been used successfully in other parts of the country to bridge the gap between old pools closing and new facilities being built.

“The Council is fully committed to delivering two new purpose-built swimming pools for Reading.

“At a time of unprecedented Government cuts to our budget and huge demands on council services, building two new pools is a major commitment but we feel very strongly that people have the right to expect modern new sports facilities.”

Central Pool, which is due to close in January, is set to be replaced with a brand new competition pool, with a new community pool expected for Palmer Park.

Arthur Hill Pool was closed at the end of 2016 following council concerns that the centre was becoming too expensive to maintain.

Campaigners raised more than £11,000 as part of a bid to take over the site, but Reading Borough Council's Policy Committee rejected the offer.

Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), which manages Rivermead Leisure Centre on behalf of the council, will operate the demountable pool, including the fitness centre, lagoon pool and sports hall.

Paul Shearman, partnership manager for GLL in Reading, added: “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with the Council to support the introduction of the demountable pool at Rivermead. GLL is committed to offering quality services at affordable prices for the local community, and the demountable pool will certainly offer fantastic swimming provision for local people.”