Leisure centre replacement options move forward

A project to decide whether to provide a new leisure centre in Winchester at Bar End or to refurbish the existing River Park Leisure Centre is moving forward.

Discussions have been progressing between Winchester City Council and partners including University of Winchester and Hampshire County Council.

A report to the City Council’s Cabinet (Tuesday 29 March) will ask Members to consider research to date on the Bar End option as well the results of consultation with local residents.

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

A great deal of work has been going on in recent months to move forward with this important project, including consultation with Highcliffe and St Giles Hill residents to find out more about their views, discussions with potential partners and initial transport and engineering feasibility.

We have also commissioned conceptual views, site layouts and floor plans to give people an idea of how a leisure centre might fit in at Bar End. These are published on our website. They are not finished designs or formal proposals and should be seen in that context. They will help Members make the decision as to whether a new leisure centre at Bar End is a viable option. Members are looking forward to further consultation with local residents and how these views will influence plans for a new leisure centre to benefit the community for years to come.

I am pleased to say that we have been able to reflect many of the views expressed during consultation in the current phase of the proposals. It should also be remembered that the Council is looking at the Bar End option directly as a result of feedback about previous proposals for the River Park site. The cost of any proposal will remain a significant issue for the Council in due course.