Archaeologists have been appointed by Winchester City Council to undertake borehole investigations across the Central Winchester Regeneration site.

ARCA Geoarchaeology, a specialist team at the University of Winchester, will drill boreholes to extract and examine sediment samples, and install dipwells to monitor water levels. The data will be collected and analysed to inform future development proposals for the city centre project.

Borehole techniques ensure minimal damage to underlying material and the deposits preserved underground. In line with best practice and expert advice, the borehole investigations will be undertaken to provide valuable insights into underground conditions and will form an important part of the ongoing planning and design process for the 4.5 hectares site. The first phase of the investigations will begin in August and will last for up to 18 months.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management, said: “In common with our residents we care deeply about our city’s heritage and want to understand more about this special site so we can ensure a suitable approach to future redevelopment plans. I’m really pleased to be working with the University of Winchester on these archaeological investigations given their expertise and passion for the location. Now more than ever, the Central Winchester Regeneration scheme is set to play a vital part in our local economy, and this is another important step forward in this exciting project.”

Prof Elizabeth Stuart, First Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, added: “We are delighted that the University’s ARCA consultancy will work together with Winchester City Council on the archaeology of the CWR scheme. ARCA’s particular geoarchaeological expertise is ideally suited to understanding the archaeology beneath this historic city.”

Proposals for the wider Central Winchester Regeneration project are being finalised, working within the framework of the Supplementary Planning Document and will be published for more public engagement later this year.