Council establishes an Informal Policy Group to consider the future of River Park

A new Informal Policy Group (IPG) has been set up to look at the future use of the River Park Leisure Centre site in central Winchester. 

As the council is planning to build a state-of-the-art leisure centre in Bar End, it needs to examine how it can best use the land at and around the existing Centre once the proposed new Sport & Leisure Park is up and running. In addition to redeveloping the site of the current building, this will also include considering how best to improve and enhance the existing facilities and open spaces surrounding the Centre, ensuring that Hyde Abbey’s memorial garden, walls and historic monuments are respected and preserved.  

The IPG will be a cross-party group made up of four councillors and chaired by St Bartholomew Councillor Rose Burns.

Chairman of the River Park IPG, Cllr Burns, said:

“Winchester residents, businesses and organisations are keen to know what will happen to River Park Leisure Centre and the surrounding area as we move closer to delivering the proposed new leisure centre. The council places great value on the district’s open spaces and historical assets, which require conservation. Initially, we will be looking at ways to invest in improvements to the existing facilities and historic structures which together make up the North Walls Recreation Ground and, as part of this exercise, we will engage with the local community next year." 

“While the building will eventually be replaced, this is just the beginning of the process. When the time is right we will be seeking the views of residents and other key stakeholders on the site’s future use in line with the council’s strategic objectives.”