WINCHESTER's council leisure centres will reopen on Tuesday September 1.

The River Park Leisure Centre in Winchester and Meadowside Leisure Centre in Whiteley have been closed since the coronavirus lockdown.

Civic chief confirmed the opening at Cabinet meeting this morning.

Everyone Active, will officially take over the management of Winchester City Council’s leisure facilities on a short-term contract. The RPLC is due to close once the new centre at Bar End opens in the spring.

Council leader Lucille Thompson said today: "Opening both River Park and Meadowside os going to be a fantastic achievement and brilliant for the residents. It is a really good piece of news."

Everyone Active will operate the new £43 million centre at Bar End which will boast a 50m pool, sports hall, four squash courts, three fitness studios, a 200 station state-of-the-art fitness suite, hydrotherapy and treatment rooms and Fun Climbing facility.

Alison Norman, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “We’re delighted to be welcomed into the district’s community to manage local leisure facilities and officially begin our partnership with the council. The leisure centres in Winchester and Whiteley are pivotal in providing a wide range of facilities to the community and engaging people from all backgrounds in exercise.

“Embarking on a new chapter with colleagues from the centres is incredibly exciting for us, and we’re looking forward to them joining the Everyone Active family, as well as helping more people to improve their health and wellbeing by getting active.

“After being closed for nearly six months, this is news the leisure industry has been eagerly awaiting and we can’t wait to reopen our doors to the local community.”

Cllr Malcolm Prince, cabinet member for sport, leisure and communities, added: “It’s more important than ever that all residents have access to sport and leisure facilities and we are determined to provide this.

“We will be working closely with Everyone Active to put in place the detailed plans needed to welcome people back to our leisure centres with confidence and provide a seamless transition to the new Winchester Sport & Leisure Park next year.

“I know many people are keen to get back to these sites, and we will continue to update residents as more details become available in the coming weeks.”