King Alfred development

Our aim is to replace the ageing King Alfred Leisure Centre with improved, extended and modern sports facilities as part of a major mixed-use enabling development, the principal element of which is much-needed new homes.

Over the past three years, we've been working with Crest Nicholson Regeneration, towards a comprehensive redevelopment of the 1.8 hectare King Alfred site. On 13 August 2019, Crest Nicholson has reluctantly taken the decision to withdraw from the King Alfred development

About the procurement process

An extensive ‘Competitive Dialogue’ procurement process with two shortlisted bidders was completed in 2015. On 21 January 2016, the council’s Policy & Resources committee appointed Crest Nicholson in partnership with the Starr Trust as the preferred developer. Bouygues Developments were the other contenders.

Since Crest Nicholson's selection, the council worked closely with them to develop the idea. The King Alfred project is a complex and financially challenging major development. In August 2019, Crest Nicholson felt they were no longer able to continue the project.

How did the council decide between the two bidders in 2015? 

Each of the shortlisted schemes was assessed against set evaluation criteria. These covered the project’s primary objective of delivering a new public sports and leisure facility, the enabling development; financial considerations and deliverability. The Crest bid came out with the highest total score.

Why weren’t the two proposals shared with the public?

The council used the ‘competitive dialogue’ procurement process; the only other option was to use a framework which would have been too restrictive for a project of this nature and complexity. Competitive dialogue offers advantages, particularly in driving better value for money for the council by maintaining competitive tension during the negotiations. Throughout the process the bidding companies submitted detailed and commercially sensitive information with a cross-party councillor Project Board, specialist council officers and external experts. Making details of the bids public would be unlawful under Public Procurement Regulations. It would also undermine competition, as bidders would gain advantage from seeing the competing proposals.  

Contact the project team

Please contact the major projects team for information about the King Alfred site: