Winchester Sport and Leisure Park

Artist's impression of Winchester Sport & Leisure Park - night view
Winchester Sport & Leisure Park - night view from the Garrison Ground

River Park Leisure Centre is now more than 40 years old and its capacity to meet the needs of a growing population in Winchester is limited. The Council looked at various options for replacing or refurbishing it and has decided that the preferred option is to build a new Sport & Leisure Park at Bar End.

The Council and lead architects Stride Treglown, carried out extensive consultation with local residents, sports groups, experts, national government bodies and Sport England to shape and inform the planning application, with approval recommended by Planning Committee in October 2018.

Building partner Willmott Dixon has been appointed to deliver the Centre and construction is well underway, with the centre due to open its doors in early 2021. Everyone Active has been chosen as the provider of choice for the centre. As one of the longest established leisure operators in the UK, Everyone Active is particularly experienced in managing larger centres with extensive swimming facilities. What’s more, with a strong digital focus, Everyone Active will ensure high quality and user-friendly health and fitness technologies, advice and training.

There will be a focus on providing a wide range of activities and facilities for all members of the community to enjoy, with Everyone Active promising to develop excellent health and wellbeing programmes that are tailored to the needs of each individual using the centre.

The facility will include a fantastic range of facilities including a 50m pool, separate training pool with movable floor, sport hall, four squash courts, 200 gym stations, two large studios and one spin studio.  There will also be a hydrotherapy suite and eight treatment rooms along with a clip and climb facility.

The Council is also working with a number of other partners to deliver the new centre including the University of Winchester, Hampshire County Council and The Pinder Trust. The Pinder Trust has most recently been supporting us to deliver the outstanding hydrotherapy suite for the centre. The relaxing suite will be primarily for treatment and rehabilitative therapy, as well as for people with disabilities, musculoskeletal or neurological conditions to exercise in. It could also be used by those with reduced mobility including those with arthritis and fibromyalgia or following surgery or injury.  For people simply looking for somewhere to relax or for physiotherapy, sports injuries or pain relief, the suite will also have dedicated times for public use.


You can get up to date with all of the latest news by reading our latest project broadsheet (pdf, 4.7mb).


If you would like any further information then please email your enquiry to

Step inside the new Winchester Sport and Leisure Centre, and see what it will look like.

Artist's impression of Winchester Sport & Leisure Park - night view
Winchester Sport and Leisure Park details

Portfolio Holder

Cllr Lisa Griffiths and Cllr Guy Ashton

Start Date


Key Steps/Milestones

  • Approval of outline business case - January 2018
  • Building contractor selected - Summer 2018
  • Start procurement process for Leisure Centre operator - Summer 2018
  • Prepare and seek planning permission, with accompanying public exhibition - Summer 2018
  • Planning application decision  - October 2018
  • Approval of full business case - Early 2019
  • Work started on site - March 2019
  • Completion - 2021


Latest Status

Willmott Dixon has been appointed to deliver the centre and work has now begun on site. The timber deck constructed across the highway verge from Bar End into Garrison Ground is now open so that people can access the pitches and sports stadium during the construction phase.

The new centre will be managed by award-winning operators, Everyone Active and. It is due to open its doors in early 2021. 



We continue to consult with local sports and interest groups, National Governing Bodies and Sport England.

Planning Application Exhibition

An exhibition of planning application was held in June 2018. The exhibition boards are available to view online.

King George V Playing Fields

A drop-in event was held in July 2018 to kick off the consultation on King George V playing fields, which includes a feasibility study for a new sports pavilion and an outdoor exercise area funded by Allegra's Ambition.

Last Committee Report

Cabinet (Leisure Centre) Committee on 11 February 2019

Next Steps

Willmott Dixon will be hosting regular residents' drop in events to discuss  the project advertised through residents' newsletters.

The latest newsletter is available to download here. (pdf, 593kb)