After engaging with over seven thousand residents last year, the new leisure and community space on the original Kingfisher site are making solid progress.
The demolition process started in the summer, and the council is now moving towards putting the building of the new complex out for tender. Construction is expected to commence soon after the successful bidder has won the contract, and the timeline for the completion is, therefore, well on track.
The new leisure complex will be more energy-efficient, inclusive and sustainable than the old Kingfisher facility. It will seamlessly connect with the neighbouring library, museum and Fairfield Recreation Ground as an attractive precinct in the heart of historic Kingston. The area will become a vibrant part of the town centre, with new green spaces and a café, allowing families to spend time there beyond just the leisure complex.
Given the current energy crisis, building a more sustainable and efficient leisure centre to replace the old Kingfisher, which had reached the end of its lifespan at nearly 40 years old, was the right decision to take. The new precinct represents not only the best value for money. Still, it will also deliver the mix of modern leisure and community facilities residents said they wanted during the three phases of the engagement.
Thanks to the council’s effective financial management in the last four years – including an asset redeployment strategy that is set to generate around £40m – and the work to continue stringent financial resilience, the council remains fully committed to building this landmark complex despite the current difficult national financial crisis, which will have a significant impact on labour, material and building cost.
Kingston Council’s portfolio holder for Assets, Leisure and Commissioning, Cllr Noel Hadjimichael, said:
“We are carefully and prudently moving forward to provide Kingston’s residents with a flagship infrastructure project that delivers a fantastic new leisure facility, which everyone across the borough and visitors from afar will be able to enjoy for many years to come.
“By connecting the new complex much more effectively with the neighbouring historic Carnegie library and museum, this development promises to provide something for everyone and will be a celebration of Kingston’s unique history, heritage and culture.”
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