IT HAS been a rocky few months for the Pavilion Project – but things back on track.

In December, the future of the new hub at North Walls Rec was in doubt, with Winchester City Council saying it was too expensive.

Now, the plans look slightly different but are heading in the right direction.

Strategic director Richard Botham gave an update at a recent town forum: "We have sought some revised prices. Since then the project board has been established and we have reviewed the value engineering options and determined a final list.

"So we will now be going back to tenders to confirm the final prices. The final list includes significant amendments to the design."

This means a new planning application will have to be submitted before anything is built.

"The key features have bee retained to ensure we provide a year-round facility for users," added Mr Botham.

Additional funding for the project is close to being secured from Sport England.

Members of the Pavilion Project - the group who kickstarted the scheme - are also seeking further funds.

Mr Botham said that a detailed roadmap on the plans will be shown at the next town forum meeting.

In 2017, the city council's 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 in 2020, with a total of £590,000 to add to community pledges of £160,000 and £50,000 from Sport England.

However, all tenders received 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.

This is why the plans have been reviewed.