Eastleigh Borough Council has ensured that plans to transform The Rose Bowl at West End into a world class sports and conference venue will go ahead.
The Council has agreed to fund the construction of a £30million hotel and conference centre at The Rose Bowl after other major sources of funding proved impossible to secure in the required timescale. The Hotel is part of an overall redevelopment costing £48million, due for completion ahead of The Rose Bowl’s historic first Test Match in 2011.
Council Leader Keith House explains “The Rose Bowl is one of the South of England’s most prestigious sporting venues. It is of major importance to the borough and its economy. The Council’s decision will guarantee the successful completion of the project transforming the ground and making the Borough of Eastleigh the home of the country’s newest Test Match venue.”
More than 200 jobs will be created by the scheme which has a total economic impact each year of up to £20million in the local economy.
Along with the 175-bedroom Hotel, the completed development will see the construction of new stands with covered seating and facilities for a further 5000 spectators. This will increase permanent capacity to 15000 while temporary seating will allow a 25000 capacity. The current nine hole golf course will undergo a major redevelopment to become an 18-hole Championship course. The scheme receivedplanning consent in 2008 with the major building works due to be completed in September 2010.
Access to and egress from the venue will be further improved with the creation of a new entrance to the South of the site on to the A27.
The Council’s funding will have no impact on local tax payers as it is a commercial arrangement on commercial terms.
The arrangement will see the Council borrowing to fund the hotel which it will own. Subject to formal agreement, the Hotel will be a core brand Hilton Hotel.
The Rose Bowl will lease the hotel at a commercial rent. Lease terms have to be finalised but will include regular reviews and the option for the Rose Bowl to purchase the building.
Rose Bowl plc Chairman, Rod Bransgrove said ‘The vision of Eastleigh Borough Council to fund this new Hotel is a real breakthrough for The Rose Bowl as it helps us focus the rest of our fund-raising initiatives on the remaining elements of our development plan. We take our responsibility as a resident of Eastleigh very seriously and this funding will help ensure that we will be able to generate significantly more inward investment to the Borough in the years and decades to come.’