Statement regarding the River Park Leisure Centre refurbishment

Winchester City Council will be considering an alternative strategy for the refurbishment works at River Park Leisure Centre at the Cabinet meeting on 15 September 2010.

Due to the severe pressures across the Council’s revenue and capital programme, it is now recommended that works not exceeding £500,000 should be carried out at River Park Leisure Centre in 2011/12 and the major part of the refurbishment to be deferred to 2013/14 subject to availability of resources.

The list of works -- now planned for 2011 -- will ensure that the centre continues to maintain health and safety standards and remains weather tight. It is not envisaged that a substantial closure will be necessary, although there may be temporary partial closures to allow contractors to complete works.

DC Leisure has confirmed that it will be refurbishing the gym changing rooms in 2011/12 as originally planned and will continue to manage the centre with the signing of an extension to the management contract.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Leader of the Council, commented: “If resources were available, we would be carrying out the full refurbishment project now, but we have to be realistic about the Council’s financial position and not overstretch ourselves. Officers have produced an affordable list of the works which most urgently need to be carried out and that is what we will be considering at our Cabinet meeting. River Park is a vital asset and has been well looked after over the years, which enables us to take a planned approach to further investment.”