Progress on the new Braywick Leisure Centre in Maidenhead has been marked this week with the official opening of a 240-space car park.

The Royal Borough and Wates Construction celebrated the completion of phase one of the £32.8m project with a tree planting ceremony attended by sports coaches and employees from Magnet Leisure Centre.

After planting the last row of flowering cherry trees that will adorn the car park, attendees observed the casting of the concrete floor of the centre’s new 25m pool following a tour around the site.

Cllr Samantha Rayner, lead member for culture and communities at the Royal Borough, said: “This is an important milestone and will mean residents across the Royal Borough will start to benefit early from a brand new car park close to the town centre.

“The planting of the cherry trees will blend the new leisure centre in with the beautiful park setting at Braywick, creating blossom canopies across the car park during the spring each year and they will be good for the environment.”

Braywick Leisure Centre will replace the 40 year old Magnet Centre with the new facility featuring a 10-lane swimming pool, larger training and splash pools, a 200-station gym, four squash courts, a larger sports hall and improved accessibility for disabled users.

Alec Jackman, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction, said: “We’ve reached a significant milestone in the progress of Maidenhead’s bold and ambitious new leisure centre and it was extremely rewarding to witness the excitement of those attending as they observed first-hand the progress we have made so far. The facility carries huge potential for the community of Maidenhead and to see this realised by stakeholders from Magnet Leisure Centre is very important to us and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.”

Wates Construction began work on the project in October 2018.

The car park will be open from Saturday, March 15 and charges will be the same as the current car parking on the site with parking free for up to three hours.