CORAL REEF will be run by a private company following its £13m taxpayer-funded refurbishment.

The water park is one of three council-owned services to be managed by a private contractor from next year.

A tendering process was started at the beginning of 2017 to find a company willing to take on Coral Reef, Downshire Golf Club and Bracknell Leisure Centre.

Now a contractor has been found and will be named on December 12, with the keys to be handed over on March 1.

The amount that the company has paid to the council for the contract has not been disclosed.

The contract will run for ten years, with an additional five-year extension option, meaning revenue from the water world will go directly to a private company months after refurbishment works at Coral Reef were completed.

Vincent Paliczka, director of environment, culture and communities at Bracknell Forest Borough Council, said the move made clear financial sense for the authority, which will receive the predicted income for the three facilities from the contracted company.

“The theory behind it is financial,” he explained.

“The council is very proud of managing its own leisure facilities but the financial situation is very challenging. Clearly when the companies decide to make an offer they will have to include all the income we would have made, but they will anticipate getting more people through the door.

“The council will be in a significantly better financial position.”

Although the council would have to approve any admission increases, the contractor may move to bump up prices.

Mr Paliczka added: “The council does retain control of the pricing but they (the company) are able to make proposals to the council and if they are reasonable the council would be able to accept them.

“The contractor will carry out works on Berkshire Leisure Centre.

“Coral Reef doesn’t need anything done to it. There’s nothing to improve there. The main development would be to Bracknell Leisure Centre. There would be a little bit of disruption but it would be functioning as well as normal.”

As for Coral Reef, Mr Paliczka said the Nine Mile Ride pool complex was good value for money and a success.

“I think it is absolutely fantastic. Had we not started the work when we did we might have have an unplanned closure,” he added.

“There was nothing more we could have added to the pool hall. It has everything apart from maybe a wave pool, that could have been retrofitted.

"I think it represents very good value for money. We have invested £13.3m in the project and we plan to break even over the next 25 years. When you look at what else you can get for a family of four the price is very competitive.”