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Contractor appointed for Southampton’s £30m outdoor sports centre project

The sports centre first opened in 1938 and will now receive a complete transformation (Image: Southampton City Council)

Morgan Sindall has been appointed as the contractor to design and deliver the ambitious redevelopment of Southampton’s Outdoor Sports Centre.

The company has secured a pre-construction services agreement for the £30m project, which will see a wide range of improvements made to the site.

Works, which are set to transform the site into a multi-sports community and elite sports hub, will see the existing Alpine Snowsports Centre benefit from a new two-storey ski lodge with a reception, changing facilities, kit store, a party room and toilet facilities. There will also be an extension to the learner slope and resurfacing of the ski slopes with new ski lifts and lighting.

An entirely new community hub will include a health club with a fitness suite and health and wellbeing room; changing rooms for teams and officials; administration offices; and a café with social spaces

A new covered facility will incorporate tennis and netball courts which will replace existing outside courts and will encourage year-round use for tennis and netball players. The covered tennis and netball courts will sit alongside nine existing outdoor tennis courts and seven existing netball courts.

Outdoor facilities will include one new full-size and two new 9v9 floodlit, 3G football pitches. There will also be a retention of two junior and five mini-soccer grass football pitches with improved drainage.

The replacement of grass pitches with floodlit artificial grass pitches will allow for increased year-round usage and will provide additional capacity to allow for increased use by juniors, women and girls.

The two existing all-weather hockey pitches will benefit from upgrades which will enable additional training. To help support local hockey clubs and bookings, facilities including lighting and storage will be improved. The new ‘hub’ building will also provide hockey players with a social base.

Each of the centre’s four cricket pitches will benefit from upgraded wickets and improved drainage, along with new artificial wickets to both adult cricket pitches.

The former Boating Lake area will be transformed into the new Family Zone facility which will be for all ages and abilities to enjoy.

Facilities at the Family Zone will include a children’s play area, and a new cycle, skate and skateboard provision.

Athletics will also receive a major boost, thanks to a new 240-seat grandstand with an announcer, photo-finish booth and storage facilities. A new athletics pavilion will also incorporate a club room, officials, registration and scoring rooms, a first aid room and toilets.

This will allow Southampton Athletics Club to not only continue to attract large numbers of people of all ages to participate but also to host events and compete on a national level.

The £30m project is being funded largely by Southampton City Council’s successful bid to secure £20m of levelling up funding from central government. External funding has also been secured, alongside the council’s capital funding.

Works are anticipated to begin late summer 2024. When open, the facility will be used by the local community and will also be able to host elite competitions.

According to Southampton City Council’s figures, the master plan of improvements to the Outdoor Sports Centre is expected to deliver £98.8 million of monetised benefits.

Satvir Kaur, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “The regeneration plans, match-funded by central Government, to our much-loved and popular Outdoor Sports Centre, mean we can help put Southampton on the map, with state-of-the-art facilities and hosting regional and national competitions.

“It will also significantly help improve health inequalities often felt by our most deprived communities, and create many new jobs and opportunities for local people.”

The outdoor sports centre first opened in 1938.

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