Leisure centre project moves forward

The mix of facilities for a new leisure centre in Winchester has been decided. The next stage for the project is to prepare a business case.

Winchester City Council’s Cabinet and Council have agreed that a replacement for the 40-year-old River Park Leisure Centre, proposed at Bar End in Winchester, should have a 50m swimming pool, 12-court sports hall, four squash courts, a fitness gym with studios, a hydrotherapy pool and other state-of-the-art facilities.

The key decision means that the project can progress to the next stage - preparing a formal business case that assesses the crucial issue of funding alongside elements such as land ownership, transport and commissioning building designs.

Later in the year Cabinet will decide whether to fire the starting gun on the £34m project which would then go through the formal planning process with further public consultation.

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

We want to provide a replacement leisure centre for Winchester that offers opportunities to improve health and wellbeing for local people for years to come. We are working closely with partners such as the University of Winchester, the Pinder Trust and Hampshire County Council to deliver this vision.

We have listened to a wide range of voices and have made the ambitious choice to include a 50m pool in our plans. Now we have the information necessary to develop a business case which will enable us to make the decision about whether to build a new leisure centre at Bar End or refurbish River Park Leisure Centre.