The new Riverside Leisure Centreis almost ready to open its doors, giving everyone a leisure experience to match the aspirations of England's newest city. The finishing touches are being made to the site and from Monday 10 June, customers will be able to see the state-of-the-art complex for themselves.
The 10-lane, 25-metre pool is the centrepiece of the new facility. It can be enjoyed by the general public at more times than ever before, thanks to a high-tech adjustable barrier which allows half of the pool to stay open to the public while swimming lessons and specialist sessions take place in the other half. It isn't just the pool area that should inspire centre users; a huge gym and an exciting new timetable of classes will be available, taking routines to a new level, including the latest virtual sessions with Les Mills instructors and immersive spin classes with light and sound shows.
Accessibility is a key part of the centre's mission. The building is fully accessible for all users, with two 'Changing Places' units - these are the gold standard for accessible toilets, bigger and better-equipped than standard accessible facilities. It also has a programme of pioneering 'Sport for Confidence sessions for anyone experiencing barriers getting into sport. These subsidised classes, run by qualified coaches and occupational therapists, will be available for £2.60 a session and occupational therapists will be on hand every Wednesday and Friday to give free advice and support.
Chelmsford City Council's Chief Executive, Nick Eveleigh, says the ambitious scale and design of the new centre will allow it to serve the whole community for decades to come: "The people of Chelmsford have been foremost in our minds as we have planned and delivered this project; a cutting-edge centre to do the city justice and have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives here. Everything we have designed, from the building to individual sessions, has had this principle in mind. We're hoping that the new centre will give people more opportunities than ever to both enjoy the city centre and lead active lives."
The centre will also allow users to make the most of its beautiful riverbank location. The new riverside cafe with outdoor and indoor seating will be run as a Paddy & Scott's, which is a respected Suffolk craft coffee company, and will be open to all.
Sustainability has been a key part of the Riverside project and high environmental performance and low lifecycle costs have been central elements of the design. The complex was rated 'very good' during an independent environmental assessment; a combined heat and power unit will ensure that energy is used efficiently at the centre and the site will generate much of its own electricity.
A free 'Community Celebration' will take place on Saturday 15 June for all residents to try out their new centre, whether they are members or not. Activities will take place between 12-7pm, including:
- free coaching from Chelmsford Swimming Club
- free coaching from the Ice Professionals
- fun pool sessions
- free body composition testing and personal training in the gym
- spinning class taster sessions
- exercise class workshops
- an ice hockey match at 5pm
Leisure Centres Manager Sarah Smith says it's a great way for people to find out what's on offer: "We've known for a long time how good Riverside will be, but there's nothing like seeing it for yourself. We really hope the different activities and opportunities at our new site will enrich many lives here in Chelmsford and we'd love to see you at our Community Celebration - our centre is for everyone."
The old Riverside centre will close from Sunday 2 June to prepare for the opening of the new centre. The new site, including the refurbished ice rink and sports hall, will open to the public at 5.30am on 10 June.
To find out more about the new Riverside and the Council's other three Leisure Centres, visit: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/leisure-centres/
Thursday 30 May 2019