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Willmott Dixon chosen for £38 million leisure project in Winchester

Winchester City Council has chosen Willmott Dixon to build its £38m.Sport and Leisure Centre at Bar End.

The company, which has delivered over £250m worth of leisure facilities across the UK in the past five years, will build the centre to replace the River Park Leisure Centre which is more than 40 years old. The appointment is subject to the project receiving planning permission.

The facility will include a 50m swimming pool, a separate teaching pool with movable floor, an eight court sport hall, four squash courts, 200 gym stations, two large studios and one spin studio.  There will also be a hydrotherapy suite and eight treatment rooms.

Councillor Lisa Griffiths, Portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing and Cabinet member for Winchester Sport and Leisure Park, said, “This announcement shows real progress is being made to deliver the new sport and leisure centre. In practical terms, it means Willmott Dixon and the architects can now shape the design and share their considerable experience of delivering these types of facilities.

“Appointing early allows us to hit the ground running once planning consent is granted and work can get started. The council has selected this contractor to ensure we can deliver the project on time and to budget when we have the planning green light.”

Willmott Dixon’s plan for the build includes a strong commitment to developing apprenticeships for local people to earn and learn.  It also extends the company’s recent track record in the leisure sector, which includes building the Sapphire Ice Rink and Swimming Pool in Romford and Elmbridge’s Xcel Sports Hub, along with current projects including Littlehampton’s new Wave Leisure Centre, due to complete in January 2019, and New Addington Leisure Centre in Croydon.

Richard Poulter, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the south, said, ”This new facility will create an inspiring and inclusive physical environment, serving all residents. We are proud to be part of the team delivering a scheme that will have a long standing and lasting legacy on those who use it and the environment it sits within.”

Willmott Dixon is working with architects Stride Treglown and subject to planning consent, due to be considered this Autumn, will start construction in Spring 2019 with completion in early in 2021.