Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Eastleigh Borough Council plans to take over Rose Bowl stadium

Hampshire Rosebowl stadium
Image caption The Rosebowl made a loss of nearly £900,000 last year

Plans for Eastleigh Borough Council to take over the running of Hampshire's Rose Bowl cricket stadium have been announced.

The authority intends to buy the stadium for £6.5m to rent back to Hampshire County Cricket Club, on top of spending £32m on a hotel.

The Rose Bowl made a loss of nearly £900,000 last year.

The Liberal Democrat-run council says it would benefit the local economy and create 500 full time jobs.

The plan includes a four star hotel with 175 beds, along with a conference centre and 18-hole championship golf course. It is intended to make the Rose Bowl more profitable and attractive to international and test match cricket events.

Council leader Keith House said: "It fits alongside other investments we've made as a council.

"We've acquired sites, shopping centres, office blocks and hotels where there is a strong rental income that we can use to protect our services from public sector cuts and produce more of an income to keep council tax down."

However Godfrey Olsen, leader of the minority Conservative group said: "It is an enormous commitment and I would suggest it is outside of the function of local government, to fund, build and operate a hotel."

The revised plan will be discussed by the full council on 15 December. If approved, work on the hotel could start early next year. Building work is expected to take 18 months.

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