Winchester’s new Sport & Leisure park is on track for its scheduled opening in late May. In an open forum Cllr Prince stated, “We are really excited about the new centre opening to the public in late May. It has been a fantastic achievement by the contractors, Willmott Dixon, to progress a construction of this size during such a challenging year. They have kept their workers safe on site throughout, and will still manage to complete the centre by our original target date of a spring opening. The centre will provide residents and visitors with incredible sport and leisure facilities and help bring our communities together to be healthy and active. We look forward to a celebration event later in the year when government guidelines allow.”
The site location is at The Garrison Ground and is in the Bar End area of Winchester. Building Contractors, Willmott Dixon value the project at £37 Million and have spent 95 weeks on the construction. Willmott Dixon will handover the building in the first week of May so it can be ready by the end of May.
The construction started in March 2019 after the centre was approved the month before. The centre plans to include a multiple pools, a hydrotherapy suite, fitness suites, treatment rooms and a sports hall. There are also plans for a Cafe near to the entrance offering healthy food and drink.
Everyone Active, operator of Winchester’s River Park Leisure Centre, which is being replaced after over 40 years, is also going to operate this centre and they are developing programmes to ensure a wide range of activities.
Despite Government guidelines allowing leisure centres to reopen from April 12th, River Park Leisure Centre will now close. Cllr Malcolm Prince, Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Communities went on to say, “This centre has served us well and is loved by many but it is not cost effective to open it for such a short time before our new centre opens. We will use this space from mid-April to prepare the complex COVID requirements for the 2021 election.”
Customers are able to buy memberships and access special deals for the new centre now ready for the opening.