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£1 million boost for proposed new sports centre in Winchester

PLANS for a major sports centre in Winchester have received a big boost.

The city council has confirmed that £1 million has been earmarked by the county council for the proposed £35m development at Bar End.

It says the support from Hampshire shows the commitment to working with partners to deliver a first class sport and leisure facility, which will improve the general health and wellbeing of residents throughout the District and the wider Hampshire area.

Additionally, those in need of specialist treatment will be able to use a new hydrotherapy suite and eight treatment rooms.

The proposed sport and leisure park will replace River Park Leisure Centre and will provide a comprehensive package of indoor and outdoor activities including a 50-metre pool, a separate teaching pool with movable floor, 250 spectator seats and a water play area.

Other facilities include an eight-court sport hall, a clip and climb facility, four squash courts, 200 gym stations, two large studios and one spin studio.

There is generally support for the scheme but many people want to see a 12-court hall which would be bigger than the present facility at River Park.

Cllr Lisa Griffiths, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing said: “Hampshire County Council’s substantial contribution towards the cost of the new sport and leisure park underpins the strong partnership between us and demonstrates their commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors.

“We are extremely grateful to them for supporting this exciting project and we look forward to moving closer towards creating a state-of-the art facility for the people of Winchester to enjoy.”

Roy Perry, county council leader, said: “We are making this significant investment because we recognise the importance of helping Hampshire residents to be as fit and healthy as possible, as well as ensuring that we support those people with health conditions that require specialist rehabilitation, through treatments such as hydrotherapy.

“We are working closely with the city council so that not only all those who are currently living, studying and working in Winchester, but also Hampshire residents living further afield, in other parts of the county, have regular access to a range of modern, high-quality sport, recreational and specialist treatment facilities, under one roof, at Winchester Sport and Leisure Centre – and can experience the important physical, health and social benefits these bring.”

Source : DailyEcho

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