New Rivermead Leisure Centre opens next week

Reading's new flagship leisure centre at Rivermead opens to the public next week.

From Monday 17 July, Reading will boast a brand-new leisure centre where visitors can enjoy facilities including:

a 120-station gym with 3 studios,

•a 6-court sports hall with 250 spectator seats,

• new toilets and changing facilities (including a Changing Places toilet),

• soft play, new reception area and café.

Members of the public are invited to drop in for a tour of the facilities between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 15 or Sunday 16 July in advance of the first day of opening on Monday 17 July.

View more photos here:

Progress at Rivermead

On Tuesday 25 July, a special celebration event will see the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Tony Page, alongside GLL’s Chief Executive Peter Bundey and special guest, local Olympic and world-class GBR rower, Rowan McKellar, unveil a plaque marking the opening.

Rowan will also be setting the benchmark for GLL’s ‘Race the Rower’ challenge, giving centre users the opportunity to compete against her time and be in with the chance to win a month’s free membership. This challenge will be running from 25 to 30 July celebrating not only the opening of the leisure centre but also GLL’s 30th birthday. The event on Tuesday 25 July will also feature a performance from the Susan Pheby School of Dance and Thames Valley Pro Taekwon-Do & Nemesis Martial Arts & Fitness.

Rivermead’s modern facilities are designed with a focus on accessibility and sustainability, to benefit everyone in Reading. The Council is not only funding these new facilities, but also investing in targeted activities to reduce health inequalities.

The opening of dry-side facilities at Rivermead in July will be followed in summer 2024 by the two new swimming pools - a 25m 8 lane competition pool and a teaching & diving pool, both with moveable floors, with over 300 spectator seats (including 7 accessible wheelchair spaces), alongside splash pads for younger users.

The new flagship leisure facilities form part of the Council’s leisure investment of over £40m. This investment has already delivered improvements at South Reading Leisure Centre and Meadway Sports Centre, and the new Palmer Park Leisure Centre and Stadium with new 25m community pool which opened in 2022.

From 14 July, the demountable swimming pool at Rivermead will be temporarily unavailable while GLL undertake essential works and give the facilities a deep clean. The pool will back in use by the new academic year in September.

GLL, who run Reading’s leisure facilities on behalf of the Council, will be in contact with all centre users to ensure they are aware in good time of any changes to swimming sessions.

The new facilities have been developed to BREEAM Excellent standards (which is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method) and with the use of renewables where possible, as well as putting in place measures to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental efficiency. Two air source heat pumps (ASHP) at Rivermead will equate to around a 75% reduction of the carbon emission rate of the new centre’s heating system and at their peak power, Rivermead’s impressive 770 solar panels will output over 296 kW.

Once the new centre opens, work will begin to dismantle the old structure to make way for a new car park and children’s play area.

For regular updates on the leisure project visit or follow the Council on social media @ReadingCouncil Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or GLL at @Better_Reading Twitter and @BetterReading Instagram.

Last updated on 10/07/2023