The new leisure centre at Rivermead is set for a phased opening this summer, with the centre’s dry-side facilities opening first, including a 6-court sports hall and a 120-station gym with studios.

The new swimming pools are set to open next year. The swimming pool’s structure have been completed on schedule but an issue beyond the project’s control will delay the opening of the pools.

Despite delays, GLL and Reading Borough Council are confident the issue will be resolved soon. In the meantime, work continues with other sections of the project in preparation for the summer opening.

The dry side facilities, which include a new sports hall, fitness centre, studios, soft play centre and café, changing rooms, accessible toilets and a Changing Places facility, as well as new front of house and reception area, will open in July 2023.

The existing centre will then be demolished to construct a new car park and children’s play area.

GLL’s Regional Director, Jamie Coleshill, said: “We’d like to apologise to customers and thank them for their patience while unforeseen delays to the project are managed. GLL, Pellikaan and Reading Borough Council are all working at pace, together, to bring forward these state-of-the-art leisure facilities that will be the envy of the Thames Valley.

“With an emphasis on accessibility and affordability, the new leisure complex will support the health and wellbeing of thousands of residents young and old – getting more people, more active more often. We know leisure centre users can’t wait to see inside – so keep a look out for updates on our opening weekend and tours.”

The impact of the delay in granting the abstraction licence means that the swimming pool and diving pool – which has a movable a floor to allow it to also be used as a learner pool - are unlikely to open before 2024.

Sport England, the sporting body that is contributing £1.5 million towards the costs of the new leisure facilities at Rivermead and Palmer Park, is supportive of the phased opening approach and will be working closely with GLL and Reading Council during the new timeframe.