New opportunities are part of vision for Winchester

Press Release: 20/03/2017

New employment and leisure opportunities for Winchester are set to move a step closer.

The City Council’s Cabinet (20 March) will consider recommendations on a fresh process for regenerating the Station Approach area of the city and a preferred site for Winchester’s replacement sport and leisure centre.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

Our vision for Winchester sees residents able to find good jobs locally and enjoying modern leisure facilities that are important for health and happiness.

So these latest reports to Cabinet represent next steps in major projects and they are crucial to delivering the ambitious vision for Winchester we have outlined in our Council Strategy.

A fresh bid to regenerate the key Station Approach area of Winchester is taking shape. The City Council’s Cabinet will consider a report which proposes that:

  • A Station Approach Cabinet Committee is created
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions Office manages the appointment of an architect
  • Two RIBA client advisors are on the evaluation board
  • There is a fresh approach to procurement: design will be evolved with client and advisory panels as well as public engagement
  • The architect will draw up an engagement strategy as part of the submission
  • There will be a 70:30 quality/price split, with engagement considered as one of the elements

Cllr Horrill said:

The City Council remains committed to the redevelopment of the Station Approach area, which is needed to provide employment opportunities and improve the public realm. It is a key aim of our Council Strategy.

Councillors will consider a report which sets out the new process for the appointment of an architect organised with the RIBA Competitions Office.

We want to be an economically-vibrant county town that embraces its heritage and welcomes visitors. I believe this approach will serve our residents, our businesses and promote employment diversity while promoting the long-term success of public and private sectors in the district.

The recently-purchased Garrison Ground at Bar End in Winchester will become the preferred location for a new sport and leisure park if a recommendation to the City Council’s Cabinet is approved.

This would be subject to technical evaluation and would form part of a wider ‘Urban Design Framework’, including a thorough engagement process.

A Bar End Sport and Leisure Park Cabinet Committee would be established to oversee the project.
Cllr Lisa Griffiths, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

River Park Leisure Park is reaching the end of its useful life and investment in new modern facilities is much-needed and long-awaited. Projects that support health and happiness are a key aim of our Council Strategy.

Now that the City Council has secured the purchase of the Garrison Ground plans can really start to pick up pace. While planning a replacement leisure centre is undoubtedly a marathon rather than a sprint, we are well on the way.

Engagement and partnership with residents and councillors means Winchester can look forward to a sport and leisure centre design that takes into account the aspirations of the neighbourhood and residents of the city and district.

There will be engagement with residents of Bar End as to how the location, access and design of the new centre will work in the immediate area.

The Urban Design Framework will help guide use of the area around Bar End and will be developed in tandem with the designs for the new sport and leisure centre.