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Kingston keeps £40m leisure centre ambitions alive

29 Jan Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council has gone back to the drawing board to revive plans for a new leisure centre.

Sketched plans for the site
Sketched plans for the site

Kingston Council gave itself planning permission in May 2022 for a five-storey leisure centre with a football pith on the roof. But when it went out to tender, the market told the council that it would cost £80m to build. The council had budgeted £40m.

The original design by architect FaulknerBrowns (pictured below) has now been dumped and specialist developer Alliance Leisure has been brought in to bring in a scheme at £40m.

The new design team, by architect Roberts Limbrick, is now out for consultation. The specification has been pared back to two storeys. There is no longer a football pitch on the roof and the number of squash courts and sports hall courts have been reduced.

The new leisure centre is to be built in Kingston town centre on the site of the old Kingfisher leisure centre, which closed in 2019 and was demolished in 2022.

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Chris Jones, project director for the council said: “Kingston Council is committed to building a new swimming and leisure centre in Kingston town centre and we have been working at pace to bring forward revised proposals for the complex. We are pleased to have such an experienced project team, managed through Alliance Leisure and procured through the UK Leisure Framework, to ensure that the project can be delivered on time, include the range of activities that residents and stakeholders said they wanted to see, and within an affordable budget.”

The original 4/5-storey plan has been ditched
The original 4/5-storey plan has been ditched

Alliance Leisure development director Tom Fairey said: “Having developed over 200 leisure projects, our role is to use this experience to lead a team of best-in-class experts to develop an outstanding new leisure facility for Kingston. We are looking forward to shaping a new, sustainable and inclusive leisure centre that meets the needs of the local community providing long lasting improvements in physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

 The project team includes architects Roberts Limbrick, Hadron Consulting, Design Active and Varsity QS.

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