Giving Basingstoke Leisure Park a sustainable future

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is developing long-term plans for Basingstoke Leisure Park to give it a more sustainable future and looking at what facilities a modernised Aquadrome, as the council-owned facility on the park, could provide.

Basingstoke Leisure Park is a well-loved facility enjoyed by many residents and their families. But it does need to be updated and improved.

The facilities at the park were mostly developed in the 1980s and 1990s and are now in need of investment to meet the needs of the borough’s community and reflect changing trends and demand in leisure.

The council is considering the most appropriate and viable options to provide facilities for residents and visitors and improve the environment and accessibility of the leisure park and how we fund them.

A team of experts has been appointed to advise the council on the future opportunities presented by the potential re-development

Developing a master plan

To develop a master plan for the leisure park, which will set an overall vision and guide future development proposals, the council has appointed BDP’s urban design and town planning studio.

The master plan will look at how the future leisure park would work together with the emerging plans for Basingstoke town centre, which could see an increased leisure offer, the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan Update and other proposals to link up leisure facilities, open spaces and heritage attractions in the area.

The possible introduction of new alternative uses in the leisure park, such as employment or even homes, could support the cost of improving the Aquadrome and leisure park.

Although the leisure park itself belongs to the borough council, most of the buildings there are owned on long leases by the operators or their landlords. These companies are being consulted to understand their own vision for the future of their facilities, encouraging them to update what they offer to the borough.

It is anticipated that the proposals will be delivered in a gradual phased approach, over a number of years, developing previously undeveloped land on the park.

The Aquadrome

The well-used Aquadrome is a council facility, which is managed by Basingstoke and Community Leisure Trust and run by Serco.

The council is considering replacing or upgrading it, and how this can be funded, so it remains a popular facility for future generations to enjoy.

Options for an improved Aquadrome have been drawn up by sports and leisure sector experts FMG, looking at what was likely to be most successful after exploring current usage, gaps in what is provided in the area and wider trends.

A larger competition swimming pool with eight lanes, upgraded flumes and family leisure water area, a spinning studio, a multi-level soft play zone and an indoor adventure climbing wall are among new facilities that a modernised Aquadrome could provide. Other improvements being suggested include a larger fitness suite with more stations and extra health suite facilities.

A renewed Aquadrome would represent a significant investment in Basingstoke and the health and wellbeing of local people at a time when other councils around the country are cutting back on their leisure investment.

Consultation and engagement

A consultation to gather feedback on options for a master plan to modernise the park, improve its environment and make the best use of under-utilised land to support its regeneration, and views on improved facilities that could be provided in a modernised or new Aquadrome ran during February and March 2022. This has now closed.

More information and recordings of two online engagement sessions that were held during the consultation is available on the website.

Our project team is currently analysing the survey responses in order to draft a master plan for the leisure park.

Please continue to follow this page for updates on the project.

Saunders Field

Saunders Field has been used for informal grazing for a number of years. There may be an opportunity to give the public more access to this area as an eco-conservation zone and a more informal green open space.

Any Saunders Field proposals would need to carefully balance any increased access to this outdoor space with biodiversity and flood alleviation project support.

The ice rink

The council owns the land on which the ice rink stands, but the current landlord Standard Securities and operator Planet Ice have long leases on the building that require them to keep it in ‘good and substantial’ repair.

The council has been working with Planet Ice and Standard Securities to secure the rink’s future and are discussing their plans with them in the same way as they are talking to all operators at the park.

A legal notice has been served on the landlord Standard Securities to put it back into a good state of repair which is their responsibility under the terms of the lease on the building. The council has received proposals which demonstrate that the parties involved wish to continue to operate the rink for the foreseeable future. This is the most sustainable and financially viable solution for keeping ice in Basingstoke.

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