Close-up on Eastleigh Borough Council

Eastleigh Borough CouncilPONToon

Eastleigh Borough Council building

Over the coming months the University of Portsmouth’s CCI Department will be getting ‘up close and personal’ with all 11 partners of PONToon (Partnership Opportunities using New Technologies fostering sOcial and ecOnomic inclusioN), an Interreg 5A France (Channel) England research project running June 2017 – November 2020. 

This week we’re visiting Eastleigh, a town in Hampshire, South England. Originally developed as a railway town, the modern town of Eastleigh lies on the old Roman road, built in A.D.79 between Winchester (Venta Belgarum) and Bitterne (Clausentum).

The Eastleigh Borough Council offices.

Eastleigh is a bit unusual in the PONToon line up as it has low crime and anti-social behaviour. This is partly due to the Safer Neighbourhoods team for this area, who are passionate about reducing crime and protecting vulnerable people. It may also be because there’s lots of cool things to do.

If you can tear yourself away from Eastleigh Lakeside Railway or the Hensting Alpacas, you can also visit PONToon partners Eastleigh Borough Council. 

Eastleigh Borough Council represents an area measuring 80km2. The borough's population is currently estimated at just over a quarter of a million and there are approximately 6,200 businesses, many of which offer cutting-edge digital services. The Council has 39 elected Councillors whose chief concerns are to provide enough new housing to cope with current demand whilst respecting the environment, encouraging a healthy lifestyle in its residents and boosting the local economy.

Itchen Valley Country Park is an unspoilt area of water meadows, ancient woodland and grazing pasture situated beside the River Itchen.

The council proudly maintains a number of beautiful green spaces, including Itchen Valley Country Park - an area of water meadows, ancient woodland and grazing pasture situated next to the River Itchen. Also worthy of mention is the 22 hectares of urban sanctuary that is Lakeside Country Park, a haven for all sorts of wildlife including kingfishers, tawny owls and roe deer.

The borough is also known for its support of sporting prowess. Of particular note is Hampshire’s home of cricket, the Ageas Bowl, which this year plays host to an impressive 41 days of domestic cricket action, including a much anticipated test match between Joe Root’s England and India between the 30thAugust and 3rd of September. 

The council is also involved in a number of initiatives to both recognise and promote sporting achievement and activity, including the annual Eastleigh Sport and Physical Activity Alliance Awards, This Girl Can, HealthWorks and SportWorks.

The Sorting Office Studios, run by Eastleigh Borough Council is home to 16 talented designer-makers.

The council’s cultural offer is also an impressive one, with two theatres, The Point and The Berry Theatre, both of which present engaging programmes that feature a mix of classic entertainment and exciting new works. Of particular interest is the town's annual Eastleigh Unwrapped festival, which sees the town centre come alive with a stunning variety of dance and theatrical performance.

If craft and design is more your thing, the borough is also home to The Sorting Office Studios, a converted royal mail sorting office which now houses 16 designer-maker businesses. The Sorting Office hosts an open studios event twice a year, giving members of the public the chance to check out the thriving space and it's hugely talented inhabitants.

The newly built Places Leisure Eastleigh underpins the council's commitment to promoting a healthy borough.

If none of that takes your fancy, you can always go and cheer on the town and area's basketball club: the Solent Kestrels. These guys compete in the English Basketball League Division 1, the second highest level of the sport in the country, behind the nationwide British Basketball League!

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This newsletter was created by Eastleigh Borough Council in collaboration with with the University of Portsmouth Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

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