River Park Leisure centreWinchester City Council's website reports that a detailed analysis of a wide range of options for a new leisure centre in Winchester has been completed. The City Council says:

"An all-party working group of Winchester City Council members commissioned an extensive feasibility study to reassess options for providing new leisure facilities at either North Walls or Bar End. This was in response to feedback from a public exhibition in November 2013 and calls to examine a wider range of options for a replacement leisure centre in more detail.

Cllr Robert Humby, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said: “Roberts Limbrick Architects, in conjunction with other specialist consultants, were commissioned to provide advice after a competitive tender. Roberts Limbrick’s expertise is recognised nationally, as they have been a leading contributor to the design of public and commercial leisure facilities for over 25 years. They have experience working on many public sports facilities and act as expert advisors to Sport England.“

Their report illustrates five options, presenting three site configurations for North Walls and two for Bar End. All the options retain the flexibility to incorporate either a 25m pool with a learner pool or a 50m pool within the centre.”

The options considered are: 

NORTH WALLS

  • Option 1: Existing leisure centre footprint - built in two phases.
  • Option 1A: Existing leisure centre footprint - built in one phase.
  • Option 2: Existing location in two phases – including a new indoor bowls centre within the leisure centre.
  • Option 2A: Existing location built in one phase – including a new indoor bowls centre within the leisure centre.
  • Options 3: Tennis courts and ATP site.

BAR END

  • Option 4: WCC ex-depot site and partially on Tesco-owned Garrison ground.
  • Option 5: Combination of WCC, HCC and University of Winchester land.

REFURBISHMENT

  • Option 6 Extend the life of existing building

The City Council says that the report will be considered by Cabinet in December with a recommendation to narrow down the options to allow more detailed cost evaluation to take place. The all-party councillors’ working group has indicated that it would support a recommendation that Options 2, 4 and 5, are taken forward along with the refurbishment option.

Estimated costs range from £22.3m - £27.6m for the options with a 25m pool and from £23.7m - £29m for the options with a 50m pool.

At this stage the estimates do not include costs such as land acquisition.

The Council makes it clear that it has made no commitment to proceed with a replacement facility, which may not be affordable given the significant pressures on its finances.  

See all the Council consultants' documents on the WCC website.

See what WinACC thinks about a new Leisure Centre