The Winklebury Centre has been in the news in recent months after it emerged a family business is set to be evicted after fifty years.

That's because the housing association which now owns the units - Vivid - is planning to overhaul the centre, coinciding with the Manydown housing project. 

Popular community shop Greenways Newsagents Ltd has been given just three years left before its landlord evicts them.

Winklebury Cycles, another beloved store, was evicted by landlords Vivid in October who cited concerns about asbestos

Here we look back at a piece published in The Gazette 19 years ago this week where the centre had undergone improvements. 

AN £80,000 project is set to improve safety in the heart of a Basingstoke suburb.

The Winklebury Centre should soon be a safer place to live – thanks to an overhaul by Oakfern.

The housing association’s management board has approved an £80,000 plan to secure access points to several of the centre’s apartment blocks and to replace its small rubbish chutes with larger chutes or lockable cupboards – kicking off a series of changes to improve the standard of living there over the next five years.

The next stages in the transformation, which are yet to be finalised, are expected to involve lighting, more security, aesthetic improvements and CCTV – set to be installed in 2006.

Read more: Family business at threat of eviction by Vivid 

Basingstoke Gazette:

Read more: Winklebury Cycles is kicked out by Vivid after 30 years trading 

Money will be available for the first set of changes in April, but Oakfern spokesman Les Love said they will talk to residents before making any concrete decisions.

“We have been consulting the residents up to now, but we want to formalise that,” said Mr Love.

“There will be an open day at the church in the centre on February 23, when people can drop in and chat about their feelings, which we will take on board.”

The changes come after discussions with the Winklebury Working Party – a group of residents, police, council and Oakfern representatives – which was set up two years ago in response to complaints from residents and beat officer Pc Adrian Pinnock.

Pc Pinnock said: “The Winklebury Centre’s not really an environment for bringing up children. You can’t use the stairs, the lift was burned by arsonists and there has been a lot of nuisance there over the years.

“This latest development is a positive move which will benefit the community. Any investment will improve the environment.”

  • Originally published in The Gazette on Friday, February 1, 2002.