BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council’s top councillors have backed the latest £167.870m capital programme for this year until 2027/28, including millions to redevelop the leisure park.

At the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, February 6 members approved the draft proposal put before them, which would see an additional £46.919m added to the programme.

The strategy looks at how the council will finance, allocate and manage capital investment into services that are vital to supporting the development of a successful and vibrant place.

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke leisure park and insert Cllr Gavin JamesBasingstoke leisure park and insert Cllr Gavin James (Image: Newsquest and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council)

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The proposed plan sees the addition of a new scheme for the redevelopment of the leisure park with approval to spend, subject to successful sign-off, £36.368m to 2027/28 and £24.632m in 2028/29.

The paper states there is a need for significant funding to redevelop the facilities on the leisure park, including the provision of a modern swimming facility.

Introducing the paper, co-leader of the council, Cllr Gavin James said: "The biggest thing is of course is what has gone in and that is the payments for a replacement for a new leisure facility at the leisure park and associated works around that. 

"It is a significant investment and it does mean that we will be reducing the amount of money we have on us. The good news is that will please Michael Gove."

He said it is a once in a generation moment.

Meanwhile Cllr Ken Rhatigan said he applauds the money going into the Aquadrome.

He added: "For too long both in my administration and in Simon's [former leader] the cost of repairs were horrific. I think our officers, although they tried to squeeze contractors down to reduce costs, were not very successful."

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He continued: "It is a massive opportunity for us to spend our money wisely and to spend on something that the residents of this borough can see and charism and enjoy and I think that is very important."

If plans are approved by the council, it will also see the removal of £1.202m scheme savings.

This would give an increase of £45.717m to the overall programme.

It could also see the additional new scheme for replacement waste collection vehicles with a budget of £5m in 2025/26.

Leader Cllr Paul Harvey said he sees a clear capital plan that officers have spent a lot of time working on to deliver what is important for the borough.

The capital programme will be debated during a full council meeting held on Thursday, February 22.