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Council welcomes operator to future leisure centre site

The Leader of Winchester City Council and her portfolio holder for health and wellbeing today welcomed the preferred operator for the new Sport & Leisure Park to the site where work is set to begin in the Spring, hailing their “fantastic track record”.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, Cllr Lisa Griffiths and Pete Williams, Business Development Director for Everyone Active, met at the Garrison Ground site at Bar End, to tour the site of the proposed new centre. The state-of-the-art centre is set to include an Olympic-sized 50m swimming pool, multi-use sports hall, large gym and hydrotherapy suite.  

Cllr Horrill said,“It is an absolute pleasure to welcome the people set to run our proposed new Sport & Leisure Park to the site on which it will be built.  

“We are committed to ensuring all that we do improves peoples lives, and with that comes a need to modernise the approach to health and wellbeing locally. The investment in this state-of-the art centre heralds a really exciting opportunity for local residents who want to play sport, try new activities, have a treatment, enjoy the parkland setting and socialise in the café. Everyone Active is very focused on customer journey and as this centre has been developed as a result of what local people have told us they want, we have selected them as preferred bidder as they can continue that commitment to residents’ experience into the future.

“Everyone Active has a strong track recording of delivering the sort of offer that we really want our residents to have.

"They operate an award-winning leisure centre in Fareham, which has been ranked outstanding in the QUEST the UK’s Quality Benchmarking Scheme for sports and leisure for the last eight years and has also been awarded the Local Authority Gym of the Year in the 2017 National Fitness Awards. Everyone Active have also been awarded the Swim England facility operator of the year award eight times out of the last 9 years in recognition of their excellence in aquatic activity.

"Add to that the fact that UK Active – the national organisation committed to getting more people more active more often - also named them their leisure operator of the year for two of the last three years. They run 150 centres in the UK, but importantly they have this broad experience of running larger centres -  and ones with 50m pools -  so we are keen to have their team there when we open the doors in 2021.”

 Mr Williams said: “We are really excited by the opportunity of creating a new type of experience for customers in Winchester. We want to create an environment for people to exercise, gather and relax. We are looking forward to introducing a new purpose built centre that suits all types of lifestyle and is somewhere everyone can enjoy.”

The new facility, will be developed with financial support from Hampshire County Council, the Pinder Trust, and the University of Winchester.

Neil Marriott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winchester, said he felt the new centre would create a “win-win” for students and the city. “This presents an ideal opportunity to engage the young citizens of the city with sport and wellbeing,” he added. The new centre is set to open in early 2021.

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