Proposals to bring new attractions to Basingstoke Leisure Park and make it a great place to spend time, with green spaces and a range of free outdoor activities, have been drawn up by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
The leisure park on the outskirts of Basingstoke town centre is a popular destination enjoyed by many residents and their families. But the facilities at the park were mostly developed in the 1980s and 1990s and it is now in need of updating to meet the needs of the borough’s community and reflect changing trends and demand in leisure.
Now a draft masterplan setting an overall vision to guide future development has been unveiled. It was created by a team of experts advising the council, as the owner of the leisure park, and shaped by comments and views expressed in a consultation that ran during February and March 2022.
As part of the plans, a new Aquadrome could be built by the council in a new location on the leisure park. All other facilities, including the ice rink, Milestones museum, the cinema, bingo and bowling, will stay in place with operators encouraged to improve and enhance them.
The masterplan proposals can be viewed, with a chance to add comments, on the webpages at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/leisureparkproposal
It identifies development plots for new attractions and activities and there has already been a great deal of interest from leisure businesses. Discussions will continue with these potential operators to create a mix of activities that will appeal to residents and visitors of all ages, while complementing existing businesses on the leisure park and plans for a re-energised town centre.
A re-designed park running from east to west is central to the proposals, connecting new and improved attractions with green open spaces, picnic spots and a range of free outdoor activities, which could include ‘pop up’ events, nature trails, an outdoor gym and play areas.
Cabinet Member for Finance and Property Cllr John Izett said: “Our leisure park is one of the borough’s most used and best loved places for the people of the borough and visitors to exercise, relax and have fun. To remain a ‘go to’ leisure attraction it needs modernising with new investment, as well as the latest leisure activities. This is a once in a generation opportunity to get this right.
“Our draft master plan is full of ideas to reinvigorate the leisure park including open spaces to enjoy free activities. This is supported by the feedback from residents, existing operators on the park, user groups and councillors. As well as exciting new attractions, they told us they want enhanced areas of public open space offering free access alongside improved existing facilities, including a modern Aquadrome.
“It is important that improvements to our leisure park complement and add to what Basingstoke offers already and that the town centre benefits from the increased activity and footfall. If we succeed as planned, we will make our leisure park a regional magnet, generating more jobs and spending generally.”
The masterplan will be a guiding framework enabling the council to drive forward ambitious plans for the borough’s great leisure asset. It will also direct the range of uses and types of facilities that are selected for people of all ages and interests to enjoy.