Work starts on site for Winchester’s new Sport & Leisure Centre

A ground breaking ceremony took place at Garrison Ground today (19 March) to celebrate the construction works starting on site for the new Sport & Leisure Centre.

The Centre was given the final go ahead on 28 February and will include a fantastic range of facilities including a 50m pool, separate training pool, hydrotherapy suite, fitness suits, treatment rooms and sports hall.

Winchester City Council and partners gathered on site to celebrate the start of works including Cllr Caroline Horrill, Leader of Winchester City Council, Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, Neil Marriott, Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Winchester and Christine Cunningham, Trustee of The Pinder Trust.

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

“Top class sport and leisure facilities for Winchester have today become a reality. I’d like to thank all those who have been involved in this fantastic project so far; to all those who have worked tirelessly to bring the project to this stage and to all those who have given their support to help make it happen”.

Richard Poulter, Managing Director at Willmott Dixon Construction added:

“We are delighted to be starting work on this fantastic new facility for the local community.  Having constructed many leading sports and leisure facilities, we know the huge positive impact these centres have on the local community they serve.  We are thrilled to be part of the team.”

 Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said:

“We are pleased to have contributed to this important project and to have worked closely with Winchester City Council colleagues so that not only all those who are currently living, studying and working in Winchester, but also Hampshire residents living further afield, in other parts of the county, have regular access to specialist treatment facilities, under one roof, at Winchester Sport and Leisure Centre. The hydrotherapy suite in the new Centre will be a much-appreciated county wide facility.”

 Angus Sladen, Chair of Trustees of Hampshire charity The Pinder Trust, which has supported the Council in delivering the Centre’s hydrotherapy suite, commented:

“The Pinder Trust has been associated with hydrotherapy since the early 1970’s and we are delighted to be helping to fund the hydrotherapy suite at the new Centre. We believe it will be a superb facility which will serve people in the community with disabilities, as well as many others who will benefit from it.”

Professor Neil Marriott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, said:

“This presents an ideal opportunity to engage all the citizens of the city with sport and wellbeing and one that the University has been proud to have been a partner in since the beginning. Our 8,000 students will want to use the centre if it is appealing and attractive to them.”

“Students are an important part of the city and if we can make them feel welcome at the new centre, then it will be a win-win situation for everyone.”

Contracts have now been signed with award-winning leisure operators Everyone Active, who will manage the centre, and with building partner, Willmott Dixon. Hampshire County Council, the Pinder Trust and the University of Winchester have also committed to financial support for the project.

The centre is due to open its doors in 2021.