New Public Leisure Centre and GP Surgery

Serving Eastney and Milton

Bransbury Park Leisure Centre will be a new public facility in Eastney, serving the local community. These ambitious plans will offer a new GP surgery, a swimming pool suitable for learners, a 25-metre swimming pool, a gym and a fitness studio.

Outside, the new Leisure Centre will offer a free-to-access artificial football pitch, multi-use sports and games court, a children's play park and a realigned miniature railway.

Portsmouth is one of very few councils which is still able to fund free swimming for children under 12. Bransbury Park Leisure Centre is a great opportunity to provide a new pool, suitable for children to learn to swim within a short walk of 6 local primary and junior schools.

Portsmouth City Council expect that the planned Leisure Centre will be self-funding.

On this page, you can find out more information about the Bransbury Park plans provided by your local councillors.

An artists impression of the new Leisure Centre once completed

This is great news for Eastney, Milton and the whole city. With sound investment, we expect the new Leisure Centre to be a great service for Portsmouth residents which funds itself, using an on-site gym and rent from the new GP practice.

Councillor Steve Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council

What will be included at the new Leisure Centre?

The new Leisure Centre will have brand new, up-to-date facilities for residents to use. Some of these facilities will be free of charge, while others, such as the gym, will have a modest fee to provide the best value for money for city taxpayers.

Here is what's included:

  • A brand new, purpose-built GP Surgery with costs to be recovered by rent
  • A 25 metre swimming pool
  • A learners swimming pool
  • Facilities to make the swimming pools accessible for disabled people
  • Outdoor sports courts available to the community for free
  • A new gym
  • Improved lighting and paths to offer safe and easy access from the car park
  • A new fitness studio
  • An enlarged car park and extended three-hour parking zone


What won't change?

Through extensive consultation with the local community and users of existing facilities, the City Council has identified a number of things which can be protected and which local people want to keep.

These plans will keep:

  • The popular miniature railway
  • Gardens at the western end of Bransbury Park
  • Eastney Community Centre


Will green space be kept?

Yes, the scheme has been designed to keep any loss of green space to an absolute minimum. The overwhelming majority of the park will remain as it is with the pool being built on already developed land such as the artificial football pitch - which is kept at a different location - and tarmacked courts.

Since the planning application was published Cllr Steve Pitt, the Liberal Democrat Leader of Portsmouth City Council, has taken onboard concerns over the potential loss of trees, which he shares.

Cllr Pitt has asked council officers to try to reduce the number of trees lost to a maximum of three, which will then be replaced by 50 new trees, approximately six years old or older, as part of the scheme.


What will happen to Wimbledon Park Sports Centre and the former Eastney Pool?

The future use of the Eastney Pool site and Wimbledon Park Sports Centre site have not been decided. This decision will only be taken after a lot of consultation with local people, which will only happen after the Bransbury Park Leisure Centre has started to be built.

  • Wimbledon Park Sports Centre will not close until a suitable alternative is in place.
  • Eastney Pool has already had to close permanently and has been shut for four years.


Why was Eastney Pool closed?

As a standalone pool a long way from the biggest local residential areas, it had limited revenue and was very costly for the city to run. With the challenging nature of local government finances, the City Council has to look for opportunities to maximise the impact of money it spends on local services. This means looking for opportunities to improve local services while minimising the cost to city taxpayers.

The former Eastney Pool had no disabled access, small communal changing rooms, and no shallow end which made it unsafe for learners. It was also only 20 meters long.

It would cost millions to re-open the existing building, and it would not be able to accommodate the facilities on offer at Bransbury Park such as a learners pool, modern changing facilities, and the gym. The gym is key to the new centre operating without significant subsidy which would take money away from other services. 


Is Eastney Pool a listed building?

Listed status is decided by a national body called Historic England.

An application was made in 2021 to list Eastney Pool, but this application was refused by Historic England, who said the building does not "have the requisite architectural and historic interest in a national context to be listed".


Why has the budget increased since the plans started four years ago?

Construction costs have risen sharply across the globe, and Portsmouth City Council is not immune to these cost increases. If you add up the increases in construction costs which have happened each year, plus the forecasted 4% for this year to ensure certainty around the council's costs, the original £12.5 million becomes £20.5 million.

Everyone is having to adjust to these extraordinary cost pressures. All of the money for this scheme is allocated and ready to go as soon as planning permission is granted. More information on construction cost increases is available independently here.


Why has a new GP surgery been included?

This will enable an existing nearby local GP practice to remain in the area for the long term and to re-locate from an outdated converted house with stairs to a purpose-built, more easily accessed modern GP surgery including lifts to the upper floor.  

Local NHS services support this move and the rent recovered from the GP practice will cover the additional construction costs.


What do other official bodies think?

On any planning application some official bodies, such as Portsmouth City Council Highways, the Environment Agency and Southern Water have to be consulted and give an official opinion. These are called "statutory consultees".

Almost all statutory consultees are content with Bransbury Leisure Centre. Only one has raised a concern, which is Sport England.

Sport England's concern is about the loss of a potential grass sports pitch which has not been in use for many years as the land had become waterlogged and inappropriate for sport. They would like the land to remain available for pitches in the future. The project team have carefully considered Sport England's comments and have amended the plans to keep the former sports pitch clear.

Will you support a new Leisure Centre at Bransbury Park?

Through extensive public consultation, we know that people across the city support a new leisure centre, and we know the local community support a new leisure centre and GP surgery at Bransbury Park. Please let us know if you support the Bransbury Park Leisure Centre and GP surgery plans.

Artists impression of the new leisure centre

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