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State-of-the-art sports centre a step closer after £2m deal

The next generation of Olympic stars could be training in Winchester thanks to a £2m deal between the council and Tesco.

Plans for a new state-of-the-art sports centre could be unveiled soon as Winchester City Council has agreed to buy the Garrison Ground at Bar End, from Tesco.

Tesco was previously interested in developing the land for housing, but the new proposals reveal that it is set to be used for community sports and leisure activities.

The deal will secure the future of the ground and means that the council can assess whether it is possible to relocate the city’s existing sports centre to part of the site.

The exact area for the new centre is yet to be finalised, but the council is believed to be looking at a number of different sites in the Bar End area.

But local residents have spoken in favour of the Garrison Ground to be home to the new facility, which had not been possible while outside the council’s ownership.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, the leader of Winchester City Council, said: “We want to provide a replacement sports and leisure centre for Winchester that offers opportunities to improve health and well-being for local people for years to come. We are working closely with the University of Winchester, the Pinder Trust and Hampshire County Council to deliver this vision.”

Alec Brown, from Tesco said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement and hope the sale means that the site continues to contribute to the Winchester community for many years to come.”

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