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Sports Centre Improvement Plan

FoSSC, in partnership with Southampton City Council and Active Nation, are committed to the long term future, development and improvement of the Sports Centre. As part of this process the 3 partners have working together to help produce a Sports Centre Improvement Plan which will document and prioritise improvements that have been identified in consultation with user groups, local residents, the City’s population and other stakeholders and potential funders.

November 2013 The first stage in this process was a series of 10 public drop-in sessions held at locations around the Sports Centre where local residents and Centre users were invited to come and tell us what they liked and disliked about the Sports Centre and to make suggestions for improvements that they would like to see. Over 200 people attended and over 150 ideas were submitted. These ideas were collated by Council and distributed (see links on the RHS of this page). A parallel consultation gathered ideas from the different sports clubs that book Sports Centre resources. Further work then stalled due to lack of Council staffing and resources and development of the plan was later contracted out to external consultants (January 2015).

September 2015 Based on the results of the November 2013 sessions and subsequent discussions with a wide range of sport national governing bodies a draft Improvement Plan was developed. This proposed several different options for how the site could be improved and developed, the range of facilities it could offer and where these could be sited. A 12 week public consultation was then held, allowing residents and users of the city’s Outdoor Sports Centre to contribute their views on the proposals to improve the facilities and secure its future in the heart of the city.

April 2016 A formal report from the 2015 public consultation was published and presented to Council Cabinet for adoption as part of Council’s forward plan. The full report can be found on the Council’s www site under the papers for the 19th April Cabinet Meeting (Agenda item 11, report pages 97 – 119) or downloaded here. FoSSC welcomed publication of the report and consultation data as everyone  now knows what is aspired to and hopefully all interested groups can now work together to help Council deliver these at the earliest possibility. FoSSC made a statement to the Cabinet Meeting and to the Daily Echo backing the report.

As of yet there are still no definitive and finalised plans, and the report does not contain specific details but the recommendations provide a clear framework from which those plans can now be developed. The report focuses on the major initiatives which Council believes to be achievable in the short to medium term and does not preclude other developments and provisions that compliment those.

A brief summary is provided below:

What Next?

Council Cabinet accepted the report, thereby authorising Council officers to develop detailed, costed plans that include and consider the following 7 core components (this does not preclude other smaller, complimentary facilities):

1. Development of a single central hub, providing sufficient accommodation for the needs of the sports on site. This could include a “fitness offer” in order to supplement outdoor activity and to contribute towards revenue.

2. Resurfacing of outdoor Tennis / Netball Courts and consideration of the cost / benefit of providing indoor tennis facilities within the pavilion.

3. Keep the 2 existing sand dressed artificial turf hockey pitches.

4. Provide a minimum of one 3G artificial pitch for football (including mini and youth football).

5. Potentially provide a Closed Road cycling circuit – the location to take into account feedback from the consultation.

6. Informal recreational and non sporting opportunities; for example marked running routes and, in an appropriate location, improved habitat for amphibians.

7. Provision of greater number of parking spaces (potentially some just for events to manage the impact on the local area) – best determined once the elements above have been considered.


Work on the Improvement Plan is still ongoing in Council and with sports governing bodies. Costed designs for new facilities  have been produced and decisions are now being made about what is practical and affordable to achieve in the current financial climate (which does not preclude further improvements and new facilities in the future). We hope that Council will be able to go public in late Spring / early Summer 2018.

Improvement Plan word cloud.gif

Links and documents:

November 2013 drop-in session results:

Letter to all attendees (pdf)

Likes” (pdf)

Dislikes” (pdf)

Suggestions list (pdf)

Note: the suggestions have been sorted into those attracting high, medium or low levels of support. These categories should not be interpreted as a scientifically sound poll of support.

September 2015 Public Consultation on the Draft Improvement plan:

Public Consultation and draft plan on Council www site

FoSSC summary of draft plan

Zip archive of draft plan

April 2016:

Report on 2015 Consultations

FoSSC statement to Council Cabinet and to Daily Echo

Previous Updates:

August 2014  

January 2015

September 2015