Reading's new leisure partner, GLL, will operate leisure centres from today

We have taken a significant next step in the transformation of Reading’s leisure today (1 July), with the operational transfer to new leisure providers, GLL.

Following the signing of the partnership contract, GLL will now operate all of Reading’s four leisure centres on the Council’s behalf, including: Meadway Leisure Centre, South Reading Leisure Centre, Palmer Park Sports Stadium and Rivermead Leisure Centre (a complex which GLL currently runs). 

GLL will introduce membership and customer schemes, allowing access to every single Council sports facility across the borough, with a free ‘Reading Resident’s Card’ giving up to 30% discount from activity charges and up to 50% discount for concessions. 

There will also be a drive to improve health and wellbeing across Reading, aiming for a 40% increase in participation levels, with targeted activities to help reduce health inequalities, including discounts for young, older and disabled people; weight management courses, cardiac and cancer rehabilitation, falls prevention interventions and dementia friendly training for staff.

Today’s announcement is the next step in our commitment to delivering modern new leisure facilities for Reading – including a new leisure centre and two brand new swimming pools. Construction is due to begin on both sites this summer with the aim of delivering the new facilities by spring 2023.

The new Rivermead facilities will still include:

  • 25m 8 lane competition pool, with moveable pool floor
  • Splash pad for younger users
  • Diving pool with moveable pool floor
  • 25m 5 lane club/swim lesson pool (demountable pool)
  • A café, information hub and soft play

At Palmer Park, in addition to the refurbishment of the existing stadium building, there will be:

  • A modern new 25 metre, 6-lane community pool
  • A 100-station gym with three studios
  • An activity zone for children with party rooms,
  • And a new café and information hub.

There will also be improvements at South Reading and Meadway leisure centres.

GLL, who operate under the brand ‘Better’, is a non-profit charitable Social Enterprise organisation which runs over 250 sport and leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities across the UK. The leisure provider has already partnered the Council in the delivery of Rivermead Leisure Complex for the past 15 years.

Details of the new leisure service offer

More information on the leisure investment project