East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has appointed The Sport Leisure and Culture Consultancy Ltd (SLC) to provide a detailed understanding of the options to the Council for the refurbishment or replacement of Alton Sports Centre. This is the first project to be taken forward from the Council’s Leisure Built Facilities Strategy, which highlighted addressing the future of Alton Sports Centre as a priority, in line with the Corporate Strategy. EHDC wishes, if at all possible, to keep the current Centre (built in the early 70s with an anticipated lifespan of 25 years) open until any replacement, whether by refurbishment or new build, is in place. The Council owns the land on which the current Centre stands, but does not own a suitable alternative site for a replacement centre.

SLC have been tasked with assessing the viability of a number of sites in Alton, including the Centre’s existing location. SLC has also been instructed to assess the options for refurbishment or replacement of the Centre using the existing facility mix and those listed in the Leisure Built Facility Strategy as a guide. The consultants will need to ensure the potential of the Centre can be maximised in the future as trends and demands for activities changes. Full consideration will also be given to accessibility, including the availability of unisex changing facilities.

Duncan Wood-Allum, Director of SLC, has identified an experienced team to undertake this work including Paul Weston, a leading leisure architect. Previous projects include a detailed study for Canterbury City Council for the replacement of Kingsmead Leisure Centre. Another recent project, for North Kesteven District Council, resulted in the decision to proceed with the refurbishment and remodelling of the existing Centre in Sleaford.

Councillor Julie Butler, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Community, said “This a key piece of work, as it will form the foundation for decisions on the future provision of a Sports Centre for Alton and the surrounding area. It is particularly important in these difficult financial times, that any investment to either refurbish or replace the existing Centre is based on up to date, sound information, to ensure the best possible provision for existing and future generations.”

Duncan Wood-Allum, Director of SLC and Project Director for this commission said, “We’re delighted to have been appointed by East Hampshire District Council to undertake this important feasibility study. Our multidisciplinary team will be able to provide an independent and robust analysis of options available and we look forward to working with the Council and its key stakeholders over the coming months.

Contact Duncan Wood-Allum for more details on 01444 459927 or by emailing him here.