Hampshire & Isle of Wight

New £25m Winchester leisure centre planned

River Park Leisure Centre in Winchester
Image caption The current centre would be flattened and used for parking under the proposals

Plans have been unveiled to demolish an ageing leisure centre in Hampshire and replace it with a new £25m facility.

River Park in Winchester was built in the 1970s and the council say upkeep costs have spiralled in recent years.

Councillors want to build a new centre on adjacent land and demolish the current building once it opens.

Council leader Keith Wood admitted most of the money would have to be borrowed but said the city was in need of modern sporting facilities.

The new centre would include a 10-lane 25m (82ft) swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, four squash courts, four dance studios and an eight to 12 court main hall.

Flood plain

Calls from the city's Penguins swimming club for a 50m (164ft) pool were turned downed despite backing from MP Steve Brine and thousands of signatures of support.

Mr Wood said: "We have consulted all round. We are building for the majority of people."

The current building is on a flood plain restricting options for housing - so after it has been bulldozed it is likely to be used for additional parking.

The plans will be on show at a public meeting at Winchester Guildhall on 26 September.

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