Winchester Leisure Centre Step Closer


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New Winchester Leisure Centre Step Closer
Plans for a new Winchester Leisure Centre appear to have taken a huge step forward with news that that the city council and University are to form a partnership to develop improved leisure facilities.
That partnership is to explore possible options for the development of a new sports and leisure centre at Bar End in Winchester.
Winchester City Council and the University have signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to work together on the project. The University has – in principle – undertaken to contribute £6m towards the centre – which could cost around £25m.
Views of stakeholders, the public and University students themselves will now all be sought. A preferred model will then be put to the Council Cabinet and University Board in 2016.

Winchester Leisure Centre Step Closer – “An incredibly exciting opportunity”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester – Professor Joy Carter – says it’s an “incredibly exciting opportunity” for the two to work together to shape sports and leisure participation in Winchester: “The University of Winchester takes very seriously its role as a major contributor to the economic and cultural life of the city. It is fitting that we are partnering with the Council on this significant project for the health and wellbeing of the community and the future prosperity of the City.”

Leader of Winchester City Council – Stephen Godfrey – says he is delighted that the University of Winchester has chosen to join the city council and other partners in working towards providing the improved leisure facilities that Winchester wants.

The news will no doubt be welcomed by those behind the “Save The Rec” campaign. In late 2014 the group welcomed a proposal that the working group would only be recommending that plans involving the footprint of the current site at River Park or Bar End would be put forward.

Winchester’s MP Steve Brine told Winchester Today he still has a few concerns: “It is entirely logical for the University to be part of the solution to this vexed issue. But we are still a huge distance from something actually being built.

“If we get a new leisure centre and some exciting new cultural innovations in Hyde as a result, this could be a seminal moment.”