Agenda item

Winchester Sport and Leisure Centre - Full Business Case (less exempt appendix)



The Committee received a presentation on the Full Business Case from the Strategic Director: Place and the Head of Programme, together with the following consultants who were present at the meeting:

  • Simon Molden – The Sports Consultancy (TSC)
  • Olivia Burton and Sean Clarke - MACE


The presentation was available on the Council’s website via this page.


In response to the presentation and comments made during public participation, in summary the following points were made:

·         All sports clubs and groups with a connection to the district had been invited to consultation events (over 200 groups), comments had been documented and taken account of.  The results of the engagement had all been reported to Cabinet (Leisure Centre) Committee on 25 July 2018 (Report CAB3067(LC) refers).  However, it was not possible for each, sometimes competing, demand to be met.

·         The operator and the Council would continue to work closely with local groups to try and meet their various priorities.

·         Hampshire County Council contribution was based on the facility being of the required standard for the Hampshire Institute of Sport.  It was noted that the facility was for residents of the district and the wider area.

·         Winchester SALT had provided useful information on sports club usage which had been discussed with the consultants.  In addition, Emma Back had met with the consultants and the Council.

·         The prices for using the new centre would be agreed by the Committee following discussion by the Advisory Panel.  The FBC was based on a 15% price increase from 2018 prices.

·         The offer by Winchester City Penguins Club to work with the Council was welcomed and it was intended that a meeting between the Club and the Operator be arranged as soon as possible.

·         The suggestion for the University to offer swimming scholarships was also noted as a possibility.

·         MACE highlighted the difficulties of undertaking cost comparisons of different leisure centres as each centre had different facilities (for example, another centre with a 50 metre pool and hydrotherapy centre).  MACE did undertake checks at each stage that the facility offered value for money.  He offered to investigate further if specific examples were suggested.  Mr Molden advised that the Sports Consultancy had worked on 21 leisure facilities over the last 20 years and this project was comparable in terms of costs.

·         The FBC had been prepared based on zero capital or revenue contribution from the University.  The construction cost contract passed financial risk to the construction company.  The FBC demonstrated a positive financial position for the Council on an un-discounted payment basis (exact details contained in exempt appendix).

·         The Strategic Director: Resources advised that there was a deficit to the Council at the start of the scheme but after 40 years, there was estimated to be a net surplus.  40 years was chosen as that was the estimated life of the asset.  MACE clarified that core structure of the building was estimated to last for at least 40 years, whereas secondary elements (such as external cladding or internal plumbing) were warrantied for  25 years (but normally last longer in practice) and replacement costs were factored in.

·         The facility mix had been agreed by Cabinet at its meeting on 13 November 2017 (Report CAB2970 refers).  There was a detrimental impact on the business case of increasing the size of the sports hall.  In addition, a bigger hall would have resulted in increased loss of football pitches and a bigger building overall, to the potential detriment of nearby residents. A larger building may also have significant planning challenges.

·         The size of the eight court hall proposed was 250 sq.m larger than the eight court hall at the existing centre.  In addition, there was twice the amount of studio space provided which would reduce the pressure on hall usage.

·         Simon Molden confirmed that bidders for the operator contract had been provided with the detail of sports club usage and it was stipulated that the centre was primarily to be operated for community use.  The needs assessment had been carried out following the approved Sports England process (it was the accepted desktop model for assessing need).

·         The Needs Assessment had flagged up the potential for an additional four court sports hall in the southern parishes and a further report would be brought to Committee on this later in the year.

·         The Head of Programme confirmed that Winchester Netball Club had been consulted and officers had worked closely with the Club to try and find suitable alternative accommodation.  He noted that the Club was not satisfied with facilities at the ATR and agreed to continue to work with the Club to try and find an alternative solution both in the short term and also to try to enable the access required to the new leisure centre.  The contract specification required priority for local club use.  However, he highlighted that it would not be practically possible for all clubs to always have access at peak times.

·         The Strategic Director: Resources confirmed that the proposal to use some reserves to fund the project would not impact upon other proposed projects.

·         With regard to inflation forecasts, the Strategic Director: Resources advised that the exempt appendix included scenario planning.  However, the average inflation rate over the last 30 years had been 2.6% (with 19 years above and 11 years below 2%).


Cabinet agreed to the following for the reasons outlined above, discussed during the exempt session below, and set out in the Report.




1.         That the contents of the Full Business Case (FBC) in Exempt Appendix A be acknowledged and noted. 


2.         That the preferred option for a new Sport & Leisure Centre as detailed in the FBC be approved.


3.         That the Corporate Head of Asset Management  be authorised, subject to agreeing terms, to enter into a construction contract with Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd to build the Sport and Leisure Centre.


4.         That authority be delegated to the Head of Programme:


a)    to agree terms for the Funding/ Collaboration agreement with the University of Winchester;


b)    to agree and enter into a contract with the Operator based upon the outcome in relation to facilities to be included within the management operation.


5.         That subject to Council approval of the revised budget, the total capital expenditure and associated revenue consequences as detailed in Exempt Appendix A for the construction and associated costs of the Sport and Leisure Centre be approved.


6.         That the Corporate Head of Asset Management be authorised to oversee the construction of the Sport and Leisure Centre on the Garrison Ground.


Supporting documents:


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