Chelmsford City Council

Next steps in Riverside development

Work on the new Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre is gathering pace, with the existing ice rink and sports hall set to be linked to the new building at the end of October.

Once complete, the new centre will provide a leisure and ice facility unlike any other in Essex. Construction has been underway since July 2017 to create the complex and is progressing rapidly. Onsite, the overall size of the centre can be clearly seen from the steel frame and timber roof, which is now in place. Concrete foundations have been installed for the pools and splash area, and the riverview cafe is taking shape along with the fitness and spin studios above it.

The current centre already boasts a high-quality ice rink and sports hall, which are being retained as part of the new development in an innovative design. First-floor walkways will be built to connect them to the new facilities, overlooking the bright and welcoming reception foyer and providing easy access to the whole centre for customers of all abilities.

So that this critical work can be undertaken, the Sports Hall and Studio One will close from Monday 22 October, and the Ice Rink from Monday 29 October, and will remain closed until the new centre opens in Spring 2019.

Customers who use the Sports Hall will be directed to use the Council's other centres at Dovedale Sports Centre and Chelmsford Sports and Athletics Centre during this period to minimise impact on other activities.

There will also be minor changes to the locations, times and sessions of some other activities, including a small number of exercise classes alongside the creche, squash and Kool Kids soft play area. The majority of activities, however, will continue as usual.

The rest of the centre's facilities, including the swimming pool and gym, will remain open as normal except for a 5-to-7-day full centre closure in November. The Council also anticipates further changes to the car parking arrangements during this period. Details of this will be communicated nearer the time.

Councillor Julia Jeapes, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said, "Work on the exciting new facilities is progressing well, and with visitor numbers to Riverside as high as ever, I would like to express the Council's thanks to our customers for their continued support during the construction work.

"Whilst careful management and planning with the contractor Kier has enabled the Riverside facilities to remain open since the contract commenced in July 2017, I apologise to our valued customers for any inconvenience that these final phases of the project might cause. Looking forward, it will be great to see the new centre open and providing a fantastic new environment for everyone to enjoy."

For more information and FAQs on the new Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre, visit

Wednesday 18 July 2018

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