Big boost in Waterlooville's fight for cinema and bowling alley

A BREAKTHROUGH has come in the fight for more leisure facilities in a town.

Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 6:22 am
Maria Phillips, vice-president of Havant Youth Bowling Club, and Mark Walden at the former BAE Systems in Waterlooville

Leaders at Havant Borough Council have announced a new marketing campaign will be launched to advertise Waterlooville’s former BAE site for leisure facilities.

Residents fear the Hambledon Road site could become another retail park and the town will lose the chance to get leisure facilities, such as a cinema and bowling alley.

It comes as many people in the Havant and Waterlooville area have to go to Portsmouth or Chichester for a night-out or leisure time with the family.

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David Guest, who leads regeneration in Havant borough, told a council meeting: ‘There will be a new marketing campaign to attract leisure users.

‘I know that’s it’s been of some concern to some members. I have met with developers and hopefully this will attract the necessary interest.’

Cllr Guest announced that the new Lidl store and McDonald’s at the sprawling site will be going ahead.

‘It’s very positive progress,’ he added.

The site is being developed by Hargreaves – which built the retail parks in Havant.

Mark Walden, 51, a local postman and bowling enthusiast, has been talking to a well-known bowling company, which he says has indicated its keenness to come to the site but only if another leisure operator was included.

Mr Walden, of Bliss Close, Purbrook, said: ‘We really need it – there are no two ways about it.

‘It would be such a boost for Waterlooville. Being a postman I walk right near that site and it’s like a wart on Waterlooville. The town centre is dying and it needs something to help it.’