Winchester Leisure Centre - Users Consultation

Closed 15 Jan 2016

Opened 11 Dec 2015

Results expected 29 Jan 2016

Feedback updated 1 Apr 2016

We asked

We asked:

Existing users of the current leisure centre were sent a link to an online survey asking for their views about the option of moving the leisure centre to Bar End. This asked users the following questions:

  1. Is there anything else that you think would need to be improved?
  2. Is there anything else that you think might be of concern?
  3. What would encourage more use of leisure centre facilities?
  4. What facilities would you like to see in a new leisure centre?

You said

You Said:

722 responses were received in total.

Question 1: Improvements (318 responses)

  • Improvements to Car Parking – ensuring there is sufficient parking available and that this is free or reasonably priced for leisure centre users.
  • The current bus service to the leisure centre would be inadequate, the frequency and accessibility should be improved, including more buses in the early mornings and later in the evenings.
  • There were comments suggesting that moving the leisure centre to Bar End could make traffic congestion worse, however a small number felt this could ease congestion in the city centre.
  • There were comments asking for improved walking and cycling routes, cycle storage, improved crossings and street lighting round the proposed new centre.

Question 2: Concerns (224 comments)

  • Respondents noted concern with the accessibility of the proposed site, suggesting it would no longer be accessible to those living near River Park and that users would no longer be able to walk to the city centre from the leisure centre. Some respondents noted concern around the impact of traffic driving through the city centre to reach Bar End, whilst others thought access would be improved by the close proximity to the motorway junction.
  • There were comments relating to road safety around the site, both for vehicles and pedestrians. The site was perceived as more remote, and there was concern for personal safety, especially in darker mornings/evenings.
  • There was strong opposition for using the current leisure centre site for housing development, and support for retaining leisure/recreational use.

Question 3: Encouraging use (546 comments)

Suggestions for encouraging greater use of the leisure centre are listed below in order of popularity:

  • Pool (131)
  • Free/More parking (113)
  • Retain River Park location (86)
  • Improved changing rooms (72)
  • More classes (44)
  • Café/Bar/Lounge (42)
  • Pricing (30)
  • Larger gym (27)
  • Cleaning (26)
  • Public Transport (23)
  • Access (22)
  • Staff (20)
  • Walking/cycle (15)
  • Crèche/soft play (15)
  • Improve website (15)

Question 4: Facilities (342 comments)

Suggestions for facilities in order of popularity:

  • Pool 50m (55)
  • Climbing wall (44)
  • Pool Other (33)
  • Steam/Spa (30)
  • Gym facilities (29)
  • Pool diving (19)
  • Crèche (17)
  • Spin / Pilates (15)
  • Indoor Athletics (14)
  • Outdoor running (13)
  • Restaurant / café (12)
  • Parking (11)
  • Improved changing rooms(10)
  • Tennis courts (10)

We did

This consultation is part of an ongoing process to agree the future for our leisure facilities, and we wanted to understand the view of leisure centre users at an early stage of the development of this preferred option.

The concept designs being worked on now will be made available later this year. The City Council’s Cabinet will be provided with an update in March and in November the full council will be asked to make a decision on the preferred option of a new leisure centre at Bar End or the fall back option of refurbishing the existing leisure centre.







The existing leisure centre in Winchester is over 40 years old and the cost of maintaining the centre will increase significantly over coming years. In addition the question arises as to whether the existing leisure centre can continue to meet the needs of a growing population alongside already high participation levels.

In September 2015 Cabinet decided on a preferred option of a new leisure centre at Bar End with the refurbishment of the existing Leisure Centre as a second option. 

Why your views matter

The City Council is setting out an action plan for how it can deliver a variety of local consultation.  This current phase will be followed by a wider public consultation in early 2016. These two elements of consultation, alongside meetings with partnership organisations and key stakeholders and a further detailed financial appraisal, will inform a decision on whether to progress the preferred option of a new leisure centre a Bar End.

If a decision is taken to build at new leisure centre at Bar End, detailed plans will be produced and local stakeholders will be invited to comment as part of the planning process to ensure that we create a leisure centre to serve the recreational and sporting needs of the Winchester District.

What happens next

Thank you for completing the survey. We have received 722 responses, including detailed comments. These responses are currently being analysed.  A consultation report will be available shortly.


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