Work started on one of the biggest leisure developments in the south this week.
Page last updated at 24 February 2017 at 12:24
The new Fleming Park Leisure Centre (FPLC) is being developed by Eastleigh Borough Council, next to the current centre on Passfield Avenue, which remains open throughout the construction and will not close until the new centre is available for use.
The Borough’s Mayor, Councillor Jane Welsh, was joined by representatives of partners in the scheme to turn the first sod on the development.
The £25 million, state-of-the-art facility underpins the council’s commitment to promoting a healthy borough. It provides a quality design in keeping with the parkland environment and has high environmental standards. The new building will boast facilities that are larger than at present, including a 15-badminton court sports hall and gym, and `wet facilities’ that encompass an eight-lane, 25-metre swimming pool (an increase from six lanes), a larger and more versatile learner pool, with a floor depth that can be altered depending on use, and a changing village. However, careful design means that it will occupy a similar footprint to the current centre with no net loss of green space.
Other indoor facilities include three multipurpose studios and a group spinning studio. The new centre will also be family-friendly, with a crèche and a large soft play area incorporating party rooms.
Outside, the full-size, all-weather pitch and five-a-side pitches will be retained and refurbished and four new tennis courts will be opened. There will be free parking for more than 550 cars, together with a large number of cycle spaces.
The council’s HealthWorks base, which promotes health and wellbeing, will be on the ground floor, close to reception for easy access.
Eastleigh Borough Council’s Corporate Director, Alex Parmley, who is leading the development project, said: “After months of hard work it is excellent to see construction starting on this superb new facility.
“At a time when many councils are having to cut back services, it is great that we are able to make an investment in improving services for our residents - but at no revenue cost to the council, and therefore no cost to the council tax payer. This has been achieved through our well thought out design and the partnership we have with the operators, Places for People. The new Fleming Park Leisure Centre will ensure that we can continue to deliver on the council’s aim of supporting a healthy community, as well as recreation and sports development in the borough.”
The development has received partnership funding from Sport England, who have awarded £2 million, with additional support from England Netball. The building is being built by Interserve and has been designed by AHR architects. Once open, the new centre will continue to be operated by Places for People Leisure. The construction of the new centre is expected to take 85 weeks.
Construction Partners, Interserve, have a policy of using local sub-contractors wherever possible. Their Divisional Director, Justin Elliott, said: “As a locally based construction business Interserve are delighted to be working with Eastleigh Borough Council and Places for People to deliver a modern and sustainable new leisure centre that will be a focal point for the local community - improving the health and well-being of residents for many generations to come."
Operators, Places for People Leisure, are looking forward to moving to the new building. Sandra Dodd, Chief Executive, said: “Places for People Leisure are delighted to be a partner in the exciting project to replace Fleming Park Leisure Centre. Our partnership to date with Eastleigh Borough Council has made a real difference to the lives of Eastleigh residents and we are confident that the new centre will be even more popular.”
Updates on the new Fleming Park Leisure Centre development can be found at: www.eastleigh.gov.uk/flemingpark.
Photo caption (l-r): Alex Parmley, Corporate Director, Eastleigh Borough Council; The Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Jane Welsh; Peter Leamore, Area Manager, PfP Leisure and Justin Elliott, Divisional Director, Interserve cut the first turf on the Fleming Park Leisure Centre development.
Picture credit: Chris Balcombe