Richmond Council has approved plans to finance a new group exercise studio at Pools on the Park to enable greater community activity and improve access to services as part of the work promoting healthier, more active lifestyles for all residents.
Councillor Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, said:
“Offering better services to residents and getting the borough moving means ensuring everyone can access the facilities they need to lead a healthy life. By investing in these exciting plans for Pools on the Park, we are not only revitalising our leisure offering but making it easier for everyone to join in. Through this work, we are promoting more active lifestyles for all residents and fostering a healthier future for the borough.”
The proposed renovation, which was agreed by the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee last night, will convert the current out of use health suite to allow provision of an additional exercise studio. Group exercise sessions at Pools on the Park are often fully booked, so the new facilities will increase the popular leisure centre’s capacity to deliver a wider and more inclusive range of activity.
It will also allow the Council’s Sports and Fitness Services to deliver targeted programmes for residents that are not currently participating in physical activity.
Over the last 18 months, the Council has been gathering information for the development of its new Leisure, Sports and Physical Activity Strategy. It has been consulting with residents to understand the barriers they face in accessing leisure opportunities and facilities they could benefit from. The new facilities at Pools on the Park will support the delivery of schemes that will be proposed as part of the Strategy, such as Exercise on Referral and Active Living that aim to improve health outcomes across Richmond Upon Thames.
This work forms part of the wider Richmond Moves campaign which aims to provide convenient resources that enable residents to become more active. Regular activity is proven to improve health outcomes and aligns with the Council’s mission to help create a healthier borough.
The existing Health Suite at Pools on the Park was last refurbished in 2005. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facilities were closed in March 2020 and surveys and maintenance conducted during the closure found that it was no longer fit for purpose. The suite has remained closed and was stripped in July 2022.