£3.3 million cash injection will make Itchen Valley Country Park even better

A £3.3 million cash injection will make one of Eastleigh Borough’s most popular green spaces even better.

Itchen Valley Country Park in West End will see a range of infrastructure improvements designed to enhances its appeal as a much-loved visitor attraction – and as a local amenity where Borough residents can enjoy relaxation and recreation in tranquil and ecologically diverse surroundings.

Members of Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet last night approved the funds that will bring exciting features, including: a new community building to replace the Kingfisher Barn, a central events and welcoming space in the Highwood Barn, a covered outdoor seating area for café customers, upgraded play equipment and improved barbecue and picnic areas, together with additional toilets, better parking and the relocation of a road to route vehicles away from park users.

The funding for the improvements to the Council-operated park will come from developer contributions, the New Homes Bonus and borrowing repaid from future income generation. New build projects will be subject to planning permission.

Itchen Valley Country Park is a regular recipient of the Keep Britain Tidy charity’s Green Flag Award and attracts a steady stream of visitors – especially in the spring and summer months. The park already offers a wealth of waymarked trails, a popular café, indoor play area and outdoor play trail. The Go Ape treetops adventure is also based in the 440-acre park, which features water meadows, woodland and meadows.

Council Leader, Councillor Keith, said:

‘Itchen Valley Country Park is already a wonderful open space and this funding will make it even better as a visitor attraction, and as a green oasis where people can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of the natural environment. The planned improvements will underpin the Council’s aim of creating high quality recreational space that contributes to the wellbeing of Borough residents.’