MAJOR plans to replace a pavilion in Winchester to create a sports and community hub will be reviewed as costs increase.

In 2017, the city council's Winchester Town Forum planned for a basic £300,000 replacement of the cricket pavilion at North Walls Recreation Ground. However, an alternative innovative proposal was brought forward by the community group Pavilion Project and local architects, AR Design.

The city council pledged additional support for the project earlier this year, with a total of £590,000 to add to community pledges of £160,000 and £50,000 from Sport England.

However, all tenders received have exceeded the Pavilion Project’s cost estimate to build the proposed design by a significant margin and, even after reviewing options to reduce build costs, the overall project remains over £100,000 more than the available budget.

With local authority budgets under great pressure following the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, Winchester Town Forum will consider the way forward at their meeting in January.

Cllr Kathleen Becker, chair of the Winchester Town Forum, said: “The council’s commitment to work with the community to build a new pavilion on North Walls Recreation Ground remains unchanged and we need to focus on plans that will see a building progressed.

"We were really excited by the Pavilion Project’s proposals and the support they had received from community pledges. It is so disappointing that the design in its current plan has proven too expensive – even after the council made extra funds available. We are absolutely committed to continuing to work with the community to develop and build a new pavilion supporting cricket and sport in general at North Walls Recreation Ground.”