NewRiver welcomed over 1,500 visitors of all ages and from a variety of areas at The Malls and the Aquadrome showing emerging ideas for the proposed £300 million transformation of Basingstoke Leisure Park. At the public exhibitions on Friday 5, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October, visitors had the opportunity to learn more about what the future may bring and were invited to share their views and ideas on what they would like to see in a re-imagined leisure park of the future.
Whilst many are excited about the plans, concerns have been raised over the number of retail outlets available and the impact that will have on the town centre, specifically: Top of the Town; The Malls and Festival Place.
On an interactive ‘Ideas Wall’, NewRiver was able to capture hundreds of ideas that visitors had placed on stickers, ranging from sports-led activities such as climbing walls to innovative entertainment and adventure pursuits.
The exhibition had several themed information panels outlining potential ideas and concepts that could be developed to bring together a range of amazing new experiences and public spaces with something for everyone in the family to enjoy. The panels included consideration of the local context and support for the existing facilities.
The leisure park is owned by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, and following the signing of a development agreement in March 2018, NewRiver will undertake and fund the £300 million redevelopment of the existing leisure park with private sector money, with no public money needing to be spent.
This is the first phase of the long-term programme for the leisure park, and the feedback from the local community will help to shape the emerging proposals and plans over the coming months. NewRiver will be analysing the feedback from the October events, with the next step being meetings and workshops with community and specific interest groups in the coming months, to explore specific issues further. The next phase of community engagement will take place in the second half of next year when more detailed proposals will be presented.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Property and Development Cllr John Izett said:
“Listening to residents to help shape plans for the future is a high priority for us. I am glad that so many came along to give their views. I was encouraged by the level of support I heard for the exciting plans to bring new attractions to Basingstoke. I urge those who didn’t have a chance to get along to the drop-in sessions to add their thoughts and ideas via the future Basingstoke leisure park website.”
If you have not yet had your say, the panels from the exhibition can be found on the project website, along with contact details for any questions and suggestions: www.futurebasingstokeleisurepark.info.