Over £900k of funding to improve sport and leisure facilities across Portsmouth is being put forward as part of this year’s budget proposals.

Portsmouth City Council’s administration’s plans for its capital budget, which can be used for one-off projects, includes spending over £900k on refurbishing children’s play parks and outside sports courts.

There are proposed improvements to the play parks at Canoe Lake, Bransbury Park, Hilsea Lido, Baffins Pond, and Watersedge Park, as well as providing outdoor gym equipment in Paulsgrove and at College Park.

Some existing school sites will be improved to widen community access to indoor sports facilities, providing an excellent solution to replace the aging Wimbledon Park Sports Centre.

Residents will also benefit from improvements to the free-to-use tennis court and basketball court at Baffins Pond, as well as four new netball courts planned at Mountbatten. This investment in netball is part of the council’s commitment to women and girls sport and has received support from the Portsmouth Netball League and England Netball.

Cllr Steve Pitt, leader of the council with responsibility for leisure, said:

“It’s important that we continue to invest and improve our sport and leisure facilities in the city, as this will have a positive impact on our residents’ health and wellbeing.

“it’s even more important this year, an Olympic year, to ensure that we’ve got good, useable facilities in place for residents of all ages to get active, as this is when our residents’ passion for sport increases.”

The improvements are part of a rolling programme, which will see further investment over future years to sites across the whole city and are in addition to the new Bransbury Leisure Centre with its new pool, learner pool, gym, studios and GP surgery. The planning application for the centre is due to be submitted by early March.

The budget proposals will be considered at the council’s Cabinet meeting on 6 February and if accepted will then go to the Full Council meeting on 13 February for final approval.