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Summer season is set to start at Riverside splash pad with over £400k refurbishment

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Summer season is set to start at Riverside with over £400k refurbishment. Image: Wallingford Splash Pad
Summer season is set to start at Riverside with over £400k refurbishment. Image: Wallingford Splash Pad

The countdown has begun for the start of the summer season at the Riverside outdoor pool and splash pad in Wallingford.

The campsite opened to visitors on the 01 May after £150,000 refurbishment of the washroom area. Campers will be able to visit the site and enjoy the new facilities until 30 September.

Work is underway to get the pool ready to open on Saturday, 27 May – ahead of the half-term holiday.

It takes a few weeks to get the pool ready for visitors, and South Oxfordshire District Council and its leisure contractor GLL, which manages the district’s Better UK leisure facilities on behalf of the council, need to be sure that the site is safe, staff are trained and the water perfect for swimming.

As well as the usual checks and processes ahead of the opening, work is ongoing to make the pool more energy efficient.

This year, the Better UK team will use a new cover for the pool overnight to enable the water temperature to stay warmer and reduce energy use from the pool heaters.

Splash pad refurbishment

Another boost for Riverside Park is a renovation of the splash pad. Work has begun to fully refurbish the area by replacing the old surface with a new brightly coloured soft rubber crumb finish.

The new look pad will have exciting new features shooting out water from colourful columns. These will include sensor-operated water jets, tall sprinklers, tipping buckets and water tunnels to provide everyone with hours of entertainment.

This improvement work will cost £296,450, paid for by CIL funding (Community Infrastructure Levy). This is money from developer contributions in the area that is then used to help finance projects for residents in Wallingford and Crowmarsh.

Due to the site being prone to flooding early in the year, the work on the splash pad started this month. This means that there will be a short delay to the splash pad opening for visitors. The splash pad will be ready for use from July and then throughout the summer, with lots of exciting new features for everyone to enjoy.

Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “I can’t wait to see the newly revamped splash pad; it is always so popular, and this year it will be even better than before. I love going along to Riverside with my family, and I am looking forward to using the facilities again this year.”

Councillor Pieter-Paul Barker, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property Assets at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Last year, the pool had one of its busiest summers, and to be able to use the funding raised through developer contributions to improve the campsite and splash pad for residents and visitors is something we’re really pleased to be able to do. It will encourage more visitors to the area and will benefit the health and wellbeing of residents and help to boost the local economy.”

Kevin Williams from GLL, who runs Riverside Park and Pool on behalf of the council, said: “Our team is looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Riverside this summer. The campsite has already opened with fully refurbished changing rooms.

“We are working hard to ensure the pool is ready to open on Saturday, 27 May. With the further improvements to the new and improved splash pad it will mean an improved visitor experience for all ages this summer in our truly unique location alongside the river Thames.”

Following last year’s success, the Swim Doctor will be back, as will the weekly aqua aerobic sessions, plus Riverside will be open from sunrise to sunset for the summer solstice on 21 June.

The pool and splash pad will be open for the summer season until Sunday, 03 September.

There’s more information about Riverside Park on the Better UK website, and you can keep up to date with the opening times and activities on the site on both the South Oxfordshire District Council and Better UK social media platforms.  



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