Sporting facilities at Bulmershe Leisure Centre could be energised and modernised for people in Woodley as part of plans due to be considered tomorrow by Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making Executive.
Executive members will discuss whether C-Salt/Leisure Connection (who run Carnival Pool, St Crispin’s and Loddon Valley) should take over the running of the Bulmershe Leisure Centre from Woodley Town Council from this April or a date soon after, subject to negotiations.
Bulmershe Leisure Centre is owned by the Borough Council, and has been operated under lease by Woodley Town Council since 1995. Once transferred, it could also benefit from the new borough leisure facilities strategy, currently being drawn up, which will look at different options to modernise the leisure centre. C-Salt and Woodley’s Conservative led Town Council both support the management transfer in principle.
Bulmershe Leisure Centre is a vital sports and leisure facility for people living in Woodley, for Bulmershe School students and local primary school children. Built in the 1970s, its facilities are tired and need investment to bring it up to a 21st century standard.
We want Woodley to be a great place to live and we need a modern, vastly improved Leisure Centre.
The local community in Woodley and people and groups using the leisure centre should be central to these modernisation plans, and must play a key role in consultation. If Bulmershe Leisure Centre is under C-Salt/Leisure Connection’s control, then all the Borough Council’s leisure facilities - Loddon Valley, Carnival Pool, St Crispin’s – would be under the same management umbrella meaning Woodley residents could take best advantage of membership and marketing offers.
Local campaigner Laura Blumenthal says, “this is exciting news for Woodley. Investment and improvement in the Bulmershe Leisure is over-due. It‘s great that Woodley Town Council and Borough Council are at last working together for the benefit of local residents. I have high hopes that negotiations will bring a great solution.”
Some residents may recall a Lib Dem Town Council Leader hoping in 1994 that Woodley Town Council would find a partner to work to provide leisure services. It took a Conservative led Council to fulfil her Liberal Democrat dream of finding a partner!