Young swimmers are enjoying the new play equipment and revamped swimming facilities at Carnival Pool & Fitness in Wokingham in Berkshire, following a £140,000 refurbishment.
The children’s beach pool was at the heart of the redevelopment project and now has new interactive play features such as a water slide, tipping buckets, cannons and water jets. The work was completed by Plymouth-based Hippo Leisure.
There was also investment in the mechanical plant works, which included replacing the circulation pumps, valves and strainer baskets and upgrading the electrical boards. New heat exchangers were fitted with associated valves and pipework to ensure the reliability of the heating and improve temperature control.
“All the investment follows a survey we did which found that customers with young children wanted a fun experience in the beach pool area,” explains Martin Griffiths General Manager at Carnival Pool.
“Wokingham Borough Council came up with 40k funding for the new interactive water slide, which has resulted in increased engagement from children and families alike.”
Carnival Pool was named after the site it was built on, which was well-known in the area for hosting carnivals and fairs in years gone by. Sticking with the circus theme, the architecture of the building was modelled on a big top tent when it was built in 1992.
1Life has managed Carnival Pool & Fitness Centre from the outset which is part of a contract of four leisure venues in the Wokingham Borough.
In 2010 the site was identified in Wokingham Borough Council’s masterplan as the best location to expand leisure facilities in the town centre and as part of that multi-million regeneration project, the council is currently building a new 529 space multi-storey car park at the site.
Martin comments: “What really makes Carnival Pool stand out from the crowd is that it is a multi-use pool, serving an extremely broad audience of all ages. There is something for everyone from children, to families, people wanting to improve their fitness to people who enjoy relaxation and leisure time. The activities in the timetable are extremely varied and attract many different clientele.”
The water leisure facilities include a learner pool, which is used for swimming lessons, plus a 25m swimming pool, the recently refurbished children’s beach pool and a spa area featuring a sauna and steam room. 1Life’s in-house team maintains the pool facilities on a daily basis and the water is treated with chlorine and UV.
A host of swimming activities are offered at the centre, such as swimming lessons, lane swimming, senior swims, toddler splash sessions, disability sessions, aquafit, inflatable fun sessions and pool parties.
“We see a mix of clientele visiting the centre, which serves the direct Wokingham area and a five to six mile radius of the area,” explains Martin Griffiths.
“Last year we had just over 123,000 customer visits to the centre, but we’re expecting that number to increase this year with the upgrades to the pool area, which have already proven to be a big hit with visitors.”
The centre is managed by Martin and a team of 70 staff, including Operations Manager Stefan Friel, Health and Fitness Manager Darren Rawlinson and Duty Manager and Rachel Cundle.
Earlier this summer Carnival Pool welcomed three Olympic and Commonwealth athletes, as part of the Zoggs Oceans of Fun Day in partnership with Total Swimming. Swimmer James Goddard, water polo player Rosie Morris and synchronised swimmer Vicki Lucass led sessions across different aquatic disciplines – giving children the opportunity to try new activities and take part in water-based games.
“Over 70 children participated in the event which was great for introducing aquatic sports that many children will not have had the chance to experience,” says Martin.
“We hope that the children who took part will see how much fun the pool can be and take up regular swimming at our centre.”
FACT FILE: CARNIVAL POOL & FITNESS
Location: Wokingham, Berkshire
Pool Facilities: Beach pool, learner pool, 25m main pool, water flume and spa area
Swimming Activities: Adult and kids swimming lessons, lane swimming, senior swims, toddler splash sessions, disability sessions, aquafit, inflatable fun sessions and pool parties
On-Site Facilities: Gym, exercise studio, crèche and a swimming retail shop within the pool reception area
Visitors Per Year: 123,096
Managed By: 1Life
Carnival Pool & Fitness
Tel. 01189 770007