Off the Starting Blocks: Winchester’s new Sport & Leisure Centre given final go ahead

Winchester’s new Sport & Leisure Centre at Bar End was given the final go ahead last night (February 28).

The innovative facilities, featuring a 50-metre pool and eight-court sports hall, will be managed by award-winning leisure operators Everyone Active and the construction of the centre will be delivered by building partner Willmott Dixon.

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

“The development of the Winchester Sport & Leisure Centre will bring a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility to Winchester.

“This is great news for our residents who have been working closely with us throughout. So many people are looking forward to these exciting plans becoming a reality.

“We are delighted that the decision taken by Council means the final green light for the project.

“We have worked so hard to keep this project on track and are pleased construction can now start on site.”

To celebrate works starting on site, a video released today by Winchester City Council gives residents an amazing first look inside the centre.

Cllr Lisa Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We are now able to start construction work on our new Sport & Leisure Centre and are delighted to offer people the opportunity to take a virtual look around. They will be able to see the start-of-the-art facilities we have planned, including the 50m swimming pool and the hydrotherapy suite.

“The centre is set in parkland and designed to promote the feeling of health and relaxation. It will be a fantastic place for everyone to gather and enjoy.”

The centre will be run by Everyone Active, who have been named Swim England’s Operator of the Year for the last two years and run 150 facilities nationally.

The new facility will be developed with financial support from Hampshire County Council, the Pinder Trust, and the University of Winchester.

Clubs and teams have also been heavily involved in the plans. Mike Fisher, from Winchester Penguins swimming club, said:

"We are excited about the pools included at the new centre.

"We look forward to making this our new home and the 50m pool will give us a unique opportunity to compete with the biggest swim programmes in the country and extend our community programme locally."

Construction work on the Garrison Ground site will start later this month. The centre is due to open its doors in 2021.

To take a look around the new centre, go to http://bit.ly/WinchSportCentre