Groundbreaking start for Winchester's outdoor sports centre

Construction of Winchester's Outdoor Sports Centre at Bar End is officially underway as key figures turned the first sod.

Vice Chancellor Joy Carter and George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council, welcomed a crowd eagerly awaiting the new facilities, including Winchester District Athletics Club who enthusiastically helped 'back the track' with a pledge of £22,000.

The re-development of the sports grounds will include an Olympic standard 400m eight-lane athletics track with supporting field events, an all-weather hockey and general sports pitch, floodlighting and an extended pavilion.

The University of Winchester is leading the project with Winchester City Council. The Centre will provide first-class outdoor facilities for students and the entire Winchester community with schools, youth clubs and sports clubs already looking forward to the completion.

Sport England recently pledged £908,514 to the project, which completed the funding required for the project's completion. In addition, the University and Winchester City Council have put in over £1 million each. Hampshire County Council contributed a further £210,000 to the project.

It is expected that the new facilities at Bar End will be completed in early 2008 with the pavilion extension later in that year.