Work gets under way in Summer 2022 on a range of improvements to Itchen Valley Country Park in a £3.3 million scheme designed to enhance its appeal as a much-loved family destination for recreation, relaxation and events.
Eastleigh Borough Councillors agreed to the investment at the June meeting of the Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee (HEWEB).
Itchen Valley Country Park plays an important role in the wellbeing of local people, as well as visitors from further afield. The planned works will bring exciting new elements that will make it more versatile for a range of events and activities, while preserving it as a valued local amenity, where Borough residents can enjoy its tranquil surroundings.
Exciting new features
The project will bring exciting new features to the country park, including:
- a new community building at High Hill Field
- remodelling of Highwood Barn and Kingfisher Barn
- better barbecue and picnic areas
- upgraded play equipment
- a new central events and welcoming space at Highwood Barn
- a covered outdoor seating area for customers to the popular Woodland Café
The improved facilities will also provide greater accessibility, with a Changing Places room for disabled users, as well as additional toilets. Car parking will be upgraded and the riverside access road will be diverted to keep vehicles away from park users.
Architects and master planners for the built elements of the scheme are RH Partnership Architects (rhp) who also created the award-winning Lakeside Centre at Lakeside Country Park in central Eastleigh, which is also Council-owned. rhp aim to create stimulating places for people to enjoy, live and work in, schemes that also benefit the wider community, using energy and natural resources in a considered, environment-friendly way.
How is it being paid for?
The funding for the improvements to the Country Park come from developer contributions, the New Homes Bonus and borrowing repaid from future income generation.