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Competition: Winchester Sport and Leisure Centre

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Winchester City Council (WCC) is looking for an architect to deliver a £30 million leisure centre in Bar End

The winner of the £1.6 million design contract will draw up plans for a sport and leisure centre on an undeveloped site in the east of the city next to an existing stadium close to the M3.

The new BREAAM Excellent facility, planned to replace the ageing River Park Leisure Centre nearby, will feature a 50m swimming pool alongside a 12-court sports hall, squash courts, a hydrotherapy centre and a gym.

According to the brief: ‘The purpose of this procurement exercise is to appoint a consultancy to provide architectural design services for the duration of the project from RIBA Stage 2 through to completion.

‘The architect will be required to develop the design up to RIBA Stage 4, and will then be retained as a technical adviser to WCC during construction. Consultants are advised that high-quality design achieved through extensive community consultation and stakeholder engagement are considered to be critical to the success of this project.’

Last summer WCC agreed to construct a new leisure centre instead of upgrading the existing 1974 venue, which would have required £3 million worth of refurbishment. 

The new centre will be built on a yet-to-be-confirmed site next to Winchester’s Garrison Ground sports stadium, around 1.5km south of the existing centre. Nearby landmarks include St Catherine’s Hill, which contains the ruins of an Iron Age hill fort, and Twyford Down where protestors attempted to block the construction of the M3 in the early 1990s.

Gloucester-based Roberts Limbrick Architects has already completed a feasibility study for the new building, which is being procured by Mace on behalf of WCC and delivered by a two-stage Design and Build contract.

The latest announcement comes just a month after JTP won a publicly tendered contract worth around £90,000 to remasterplan Winchester’s 2.3ha  Silver Hill regeneration area. Councillors abandoned the long-running and contentious Silver Hill proposals for the area by Allies and Morrison after losing patience with the developer one year ago.

Last summer also saw Winchester councillors shelve Hopkins Architects’ competition-winning proposals for the separate but nearby Station Approach area amid fears of overdevelopment. A new procurement process for Station Approach – managed by RIBA Competitions – is expected to be launched soon.

The deadline for applications is noon, 31 March.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Winchester City Council
Colebrook Street
SO23 9LJ

Email: leisurefacility@winchester.gov.uk


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