Chelmsford City Council has announced that its flagship leisure centre, the new Riverside, is due to open in early June following a major redevelopment.
Beginning in 2017, the two-year project utterly transforms the former 1960s leisure centre into a modern complex with the capacity, accessibility and sustainability that the growing city needs.
Councillor Julia Jeapes, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said, “I am delighted to announce that the hotly-anticipated new Riverside will open to the public in the week commencing 10 June. I recently visited the site with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and was extremely impressed with the scale and quality of the new building – the pool in particular is a wonderful space, with a high ceiling and natural light flooding the space where swimmers will soon be enjoying themselves.”
The main construction works are now complete and the centre is now being fitted-out, with tiles and paint appearing on the walls. The much-loved sports hall and ice rink remain and have been revamped, while the dated pool building has been replaced with two new high-spec swimming pools, a splash zone, flume, huge gym, health and fitness studios, creche and party room, soft play, improved changing rooms and an open, airy café overlooking the river.
Landscaping works will soon begin to improve the surrounding area at the same time as building the complex. New footpaths and cycleways will be improved with lighting and attractive planting, while cycle storage will be included to make travelling sustainably to Riverside easy. This will create an attractive, accessible link between Riverside and the rest of the city centre, including Bond Street.
Once complete, the new leisure complex will serve the people of Chelmsford and beyond for at least the next 60 years. It has been designed to be fully accessible to users of all abilities and ages; and the Council is planning in plenty of sessions and classes that will enable everyone, whatever their needs and confidence level, to get active and try something new.
In the run-up to the opening, Chelmsford City Council is marking 2019 as a big year for physical activity in the city with a special celebratory programme called Spring Into Action. Between March and June, sports clubs, charities and community organisations are holding open days, come-and-try sessions and challenges. With sessions across the city, South Woodham Ferrers and the surrounding villages, you can have a go at anything from bowls to martial arts, swimming to sailing, running to walking. Check it out at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/springintoaction.
Councillor Jeapes added, “We can’t wait to open the new centre to local people. I would like to thank everyone, including members and clubs who use the centre regularly, for your patience and support during the course of the construction works – I am certain that you will be impressed when you step through the doors in June!”
Further details of the Riverside opening event will be publicised in May. Keep an eye out! In the meantime, you can find more information about the centre at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/riverside.
Friday 22 March 2019