Council unveils designs for Braywick Leisure Centre

Published: Wednesday, 23rd August 2017

Residents have been given an early glimpse of what they can expect to see when a state-of-the-art new leisure centre comes to Braywick Park.

Braywick Leisure Centre will provide a space for everyone to enjoy sports, arts and cultural events and images revealed this week show what the new facility could look like when it opens at the end of 2019.

Featuring an indoor street and winter garden running through the spine of the building, the multi-million pound new leisure centre will include bigger and better facilities than the Magnet Leisure Centre but plans to use 70 per cent less energy than the current building.

Key features include a 10-lane swimming pool – up from eight lanes at the Magnet – larger training and splash pools, a 200-station gym, improved accessibility for disabled users and sports teams, and twice as much car parking.

The new leisure centre will replace the ageing Magnet and provide residents with outstanding and easily accessible new sports facilities. The Magnet will not close until the new centre opens so there will be no break in service.

Cllr Samantha Rayner, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “Braywick Leisure Centre will be a place all residents can be proud of and these beautiful designs give us an idea of what this new facility will look like.

“We are committed to helping residents of all ages and abilities to live healthy and happy lives and this leisure centre will give the community somewhere to come together not just for sports and exercise but also for art and cultural events indoors and outdoors.

“The centre will need to be cost effective and sensitively designed and I am thrilled with what Burke Rickhards, the architects, have put forward, especially their use of the parkland setting as a theme for the whole building.

“We have taken feedback from residents and those who use the Magnet and used their input to get to where we are today.”
 
Stephen Rickhards, partner at architecture practice Burke Rickhards, said: “Braywick Leisure Centre presents an exceptional opportunity to deliver first-class sporting facilities in a beautiful parkland setting.

“Burke Rickhards has a wealth of experience in designing leisure facilities and we are designing the new centre to respond sensitively to the parkland environment.

“The detailed design will ensure the building fully connects with the rest of the park and supports other activities and events taking place across it.”

In October last year, the council asked residents and users of the Magnet Leisure Centre what facilities they would like to see included in the new leisure centre. The council received many comments and these have been considered, along with advice from sporting bodies and major users of the centre, when drawing up the specification for the new centre.

Key facilities in Braywick Leisure Centre will include:
•    A 10-lane, 25m swimming pool – up from eight lanes at the Magnet and up to 1.6m at the deep end and 1.1m at the shallow end.
•    A larger training pool – almost twice the size of the Magnet.
•    A larger splash area and larger pool changing village.
•    A 200-station gym (up from 150) and a separate health suite.
•    Two dance studios and a spinning studio.
•    Four squash courts – which can also be reconfigured into another studio space.
•    Six outdoor netball / tennis courts.
•    An 80-seat café with views of the pool.
•    A replacement Pearce Suite hall to seat up to 650 people for events.
•    A new nursery to reprovide Pixies.
•    A new soft play area.
•    Improved accessibility for disabled users and sports teams.
•    500 parking spaces – twice as many as the Magnet.
•    A 40m x 60m floodlit all weather 3G pitch.

Subject to securing planning approval, the new centre will be built alongside Braywick Park’s existing sports facilities, including football and rugby pitches, a running track, and the latest adventure golf and hi-tech golf coaching, and create an integrated and well-connected leisure hub.

All of these high-quality facilities will be easily accessible for residents living right across the borough and specifically the wider Maidenhead area. Three bus routes currently stop at Braywick Park – the 4, 4A and 53, and it is easily accessible on foot and by bicycle (via the Green Way), as well as by car on the Braywick Road.

The council will be considering an update on the layout, appearance, cost and timetable for the new leisure centre at a number of upcoming meetings:
•    Joint Corporate Services and Culture & Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel – 6pm on Thursday 31 August in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Maidenhead.
•    Cabinet Regeneration Sub-Committee – 4.30pm on Tuesday 5 September in the May Room, Town Hall, Maidenhead.
•    Council – 7.30pm on Tuesday 26 September in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Maidenhead.

The meetings will be open to the public and the reports being considered are available from the meetings page of the council website: www.rbwm.gov.uk

Subject to the outcome of these meetings, the council wants local people to comment on the detailed design before a planning application is submitted to the Royal Borough in October 2017.  Residents will be able to do this:
•    In person: by visiting one of the exhibitions planned in Maidenhead.
•    Online: at https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/consultations
•    By email: [email protected]
•    By phone: 01628 685807.

Full details of the proposed exhibitions and how residents will be able to comment on the plans are included in the committee reports. The council will confirm the details after the meeting on 5 September.

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