City Council and University partnership to develop improved leisure facilities in Winchester

Press Release: 04/01/2016

Improved leisure facilities for Winchester moved a step closer today with the news that the University of Winchester and the City Council are working in partnership to explore possible options for the development of a new sports and leisure centre at Bar End in Winchester.

Winchester City Council and the University have signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to work together on the project. The University has in principle undertaken to contribute £6m towards the centre which could cost around £25m.

The partnership is driven by a shared objective to see improved sports and leisure participation developed in Winchester. The initial work being undertaken as part of the project is to gather the views of stakeholders and the public, including University students. The Council and University will then explore various options for a new sports and leisure centre before presenting a preferred model to the Council Cabinet and University Board in March 2016.

Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, said:

This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to work together to shape sports and leisure participation in Winchester. The University of Winchester takes very seriously its role as a major contributor to the economic and cultural life of the City. So it is fitting that we are partnering with the Council on this significant project for the health and wellbeing of the community and the future prosperity of the City.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

I am delighted that the University of Winchester has chosen to join the City Council and other partners in working towards providing the improved leisure facilities that Winchester wants and needs.

There is still a way to go before we have an agreed project and the prize of a new leisure centre but this development marks an important step on the road.