News

We’ll post all of our latest news as well as dates for future webinars and consultation events here.

Our vision is to renew our historic town centre to make it even better for our residents, local businesses, students and visitors. This will help to diversify our local economy beyond retail and ignite a vibrant leisure and cultural scene.

As part of this, we are proposing to deliver a brand-new, world class leisure facility on the site of the Kingfisher Leisure Centre, which is accessible for all residents, offers a range of facilities that benefit everyone and is built to last. This will also mean improving the public spaces near the building, including those around the Kingston Museum and Library.

Rooftop football, climbing and swimming for all – plans for Kingston’s brand new community leisure complex approved

May 2022

Residents can look forward to state-of-the-art leisure and community facilities right in the heart of Kingston as plans for the town’s new leisure complex are approved by Planning Committee (26 May).

With 5-a-side rooftop football pitches, two swimming pools with spectator seating, a children’s splash deck and climbing wall, as well as flexible community spaces, a cafe and much more, the scheme will deliver inclusive facilities fit for the 21st Century.

This scheme is a major part of the council’s ‘Transform Kingston’ programme and sits at the heart of the council’s heritage-led regeneration of the town centre.

Improvements to the public space around the new complex will connect it much more effectively with the neighbouring historic library and museum, with the aim of attracting more residents and visitors to come and experience Kingston’s unique history and culture.

It will help regenerate and revitalise Kingston town centre at a time when the borough’s economy and its communities need it most, creating improved access through to the town’s central shopping area.

Leader of Kingston Council Andreas Kirsch said:

“Delivering this state-of-the-art, disabled-friendly leisure and community complex is one of our top priorities.

“We want all our residents to live happy, healthier, fulfilling lives, and having this fantastic facility right in the centre of Kingston, designed by award winning architects FaulknerBrowns, will help us achieve that ambition.

“I am also delighted that the new complex will link with the museum and the library celebrating our history and heritage.”

Work to demolish the old, unsafe Kingfisher leisure centre will start this summer as preparations to deliver the new facility begin on site.

Next steps for Kingston’s brand new community leisure facility

May 2022

Next steps for Kingston’s brand new community leisure facility

Progress continues towards delivering a brand-new community leisure complex in the heart of Kingston. A contractor has been appointed to undertake demolition of the old, unsafe Kingfisher building. Formal notice of the demolition has now been served and the work is expected to start in Summer 2022. 

The planning application for the new leisure and community facility on the site is being heard by Kingston Council’s Planning Committee this Thursday, 26 May 2022.

Investigations begin on Kingfisher site

March 2022

Next step for Kingston’s new community leisure facility as investigation work begins on site

Progress towards Kingston’s new community leisure facility is continuing with ground investigation work set to begin on site ahead of the demolition of the existing Kingfisher building.

The investigation work will begin at the beginning of April 2022 and is expected to last for around two weeks. 

Ground investigations are needed to understand the rock and soil profile of any development site before demolition or construction begins. They involve physical probing of the ground at locations across the site to understand the ground formation. 

The work will help ensure demolition and construction can be properly planned and delivered in the most effective way. 

In addition, planned tree works at the Kingfisher site will start on Monday 21 March.

Transform Kingston programme update

February 2022

Transform Kingston programme reaches major milestone as planning application for new leisure complex submitted.

Residents are a major step closer to seeing a new community leisure facility in the heart of Kingston as Kingston Council gives the scheme committee approval and the planning application is submitted.

Place Committee (10 February) reaffirmed the council’s commitment to deliver the new community leisure facility on the site of the Kingfisher, as part of the Transform Kingston programme. The scheme sits at the heart of the council’s heritage-led regeneration plans to transform the town centre and drive recovery from the pandemic.

Leader of Kingston Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Andreas Kirsch said:

“I’m incredibly proud that we have reached such a significant point in our Transform Kingston programme and our journey towards this fantastic new leisure facility. The submission of the planning application is a huge step forward in delivering the scheme.

“We had more than 7,000 responses to our 3 phases of engagement on the proposals and I want to thank all of you who shared your views. Your valuable and insightful feedback has helped shape the final designs.

“We are working with leading architects FaulknerBrowns to deliver a truly inclusive space, accessible for all, environmentally sustainable, and family and disabled friendly. It will also celebrate our borough’s rich heritage and history. The new complex will help revitalise our town centre, making it a prime place to visit for culture, entertainment and leisure as well as shopping.”

As Kingston looks to recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic, it has never been more important to develop the places and spaces that support everybody to be active.

The council’s new indoor leisure facilities strategy sets out the need for a wide range of high quality physical activity services and facilities across the borough. With this new leisure complex, the Council is bringing forward the first of several planned projects to deliver those ambitions. By doing so it will support residents to stay fit and healthy – both physically and mentally – bring people and communities together so residents can benefit from developing friends and networks, and ensure there are clear pathways to nurture and support talent.

The planning application for the scheme will now be validated and will be live on the council’s planning portal in the next few weeks. It is anticipated it will go to Planning Committee in the Autumn where it will be subject to the usual robust decision making process.

Tree works at the Kingfisher site

January 2022

An application for tree works has been approved by the Local Planning Authority for the removal and/or works to trees in the conservation area. It will be necessary to remove 4 trees; 2 due to poor health and 2 to facilitate the leisure centre demolition and construction. These trees are categorised as having a low quality or being in such a condition that they cannot be realistically retained in the long term (beyond ten years). The tree removal is unavoidable given the scale and nature of the works.

All tree work will be carried out above ground and in order to avoid disturbance to potential archaeological remains on the site, the tree stumps of the 4 trees will be left in place until post demolition archaeological evaluation, as agreed with Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service, has taken place. At this point in time an assessment can be made of the suitability to remove the stumps.

In line with the council’s tree replacement policy 2 trees will be planted to replace each tree lost.

A further 6 trees require pruning.

The work will take place in March.

Your feedback

January 2022

Thank you to everyone who took part in our third phase of engagement on plans for a new community leisure facility in Kingston.

We are really grateful for all of the feedback and insightful comments received, with over 1,500 people taking part in our latest survey. We were pleased to see that the majority of people felt positively about the plans with 78% agreeing that the new leisure facility will have a good range of sports facilities.

Other key findings from our survey showed that:

  • Around 75% of respondents believed that the proposals would accomplish the goal of making the centre accessible for all
  • 87% thought the plans were an improvement on the existing layout
  • 75% believed that the team had achieved its goal of putting sustainability at the heart of the designs

Our team is now reviewing all of the responses received to help finalise the designs ahead of submitting a planning application. The application will set out detailed information about the plans and be publicly available to view on the Council’s planning portal once validated. We will continue to update this website with all the latest news and information so please do check back regularly.

Council leader encourages residents to help shape Kingston’s new leisure centre.

November 2021

Leader of Kingston Council Andreas Kirsch is urging people across the borough to have their say on early proposals for Kingston’s new community leisure facility and civic space.

Councillor Kirsch said:

“This week we are launching the final round of engagement on early proposals for Kingston’s stunning new leisure centre and public space, right in the heart of our historic town centre. 

“I’m really excited about the initial plans, developed based on feedback from people all over the borough. It will be a leisure centre and community space that brings people together, truly a facility for all. It is the centrepiece of Kingston’s heritage led regeneration programme – a leisure centre fit for the future that is even better and more accessible than what we have now.

“From two fantastic swimming pools, a toddler splash deck and outdoor playground, to the clip and climb wall and flexible multi court sports hall, it will be packed full of spaces and facilities for everyone to enjoy.

“Accessibility is something very dear to my heart, and I am really pleased to say it is also something our award winning architects FaulknerBrowns value and prioritise. They have a track record of delivering exceptional leisure centres. The spaces they are designing, with your input, do not merely pay lip service to the needs and requirements of people with disabilities and accessibility issues, they are a fundamental consideration throughout. 

“The new leisure centre will be built to the highest and most advanced environmental standards, to be truly sustainable for years to come and support our response to the climate emergency. It will also enrich and enhance connectivity with Kingston’s museum and library.

“As the final phase of our early engagement begins, we really want to hear from as many people as possible, from all our diverse communities. We will be holding drop in events across the borough during November and people can also share their thoughts in our survey, open from 15 November until 31 December. 

“This is your leisure centre, it is your Kingston, and we want to know what is most important to you. I want as many people as possible to have their voices heard and influence the final designs, so we get it right – for everyone.”

Have your say on our updated proposals for Kingston’s new community leisure facility.

November 2021

During the last community engagement in July, we saw almost 1,200 people respond to the public survey and nearly 200 attend three in-person events. Thank you again to everyone who took part, we have spent these past few months considering all your important feedback and developing our plans to further refine our proposals for the Kingfisher site – including work to make sure the new facility is fun and family friendly, meets the highest possible sustainability standards, and is accessible for all.

Now, we are launching another phase of engagement to share these updated designs with the community and hear feedback before we finalise the proposals and submit a planning application early next year. You can see the updated designs here and download a copy of our community newsletter here.

As part of this phase of engagement, we will be holding a series of public exhibition events in Tolworth and Kingston Town centre, as well as two public webinars, where you can see the latest plans, meet the team and ask any questions. You can see more details of the events and how to attend, here.

We look forward to engaging with you again and welcome your feedback through the latest digital survey.

Hackney visit.

October 2021

We’re so excited by early designs for our new leisure centre for all, right here in Kingston!

Leader of the council, councillor Caroline Kerr, visited Hackney’s wonderful Britannia Leisure Centre to get a taste of what’s in store for us. The centre was created by FaulknerBrowns, the architects designing our new centre.

A sneak peak at our exciting latest designs, shaped by you.

October 2021

Since the close of the latest round of engagement, we have been busy reviewing all the feedback we have received and are working hard on developing our designs.

We will be showcasing our evolved proposals in our upcoming round of engagement in November. We will publicise these events extensively again but do also keep checking this page for updates and any future events.

In the meantime, we are delighted to share some initial images here which show what the new leisure centre may look like – including fantastic family-friendly facilities like a splash pool, interactive climbing wall and a teaching pool where features such as an inflatable floating island and water play sessions will be available.

Your feedback

September 2021

Thank you again to all of you who took part in our second phase of engagement for Transform Kingston which ran for five weeks from 5 July to 1 August 2021.

We are really grateful for all the feedback and insightful comments. The feedback we received was largely positive with 96% of respondents said the new leisure centre was somewhere they would consider visiting – which we are really pleased to hear. Around 80% of people also believed that the proposals had the right mix of facilities and that outdoor spaces would be improved.

We also received some very useful suggestions that have been passed on to our design team to explore whether they can be incorporated into the proposals.

Our next round of engagement is planned for November 2021. During this new engagement, we will present our updated plans, answer your questions and provide solutions to some of the issues raised over the last few months. In the meantime, you can see answers to questions at our updated FAQs page.

We will publicise these events extensively again but do also keep checking this page for updates and the details of any future events.
Download our full Phase 2 engagement report here.

Phase 2 engagement closes

August 2021

Thank you for participating in our recent engagement around these plans, which ran from Monday 5 July to Sunday 1 August 2021. We heard from thousands of you, gathering helpful feedback and ideas about the new leisure facility and the Cattle Market site.

During this engagement, we:
● Received nearly 1,200 online surveys
● Spoke to almost 200 people at our in-person events
● Had over 50 attendees at our webinars
● Corresponded with over 70 people via email or phone

We are grateful to everyone who got involved and gave their views. Your comments will help us to develop more detailed designs which we will share with you for your feedback later this year, before aiming to submit a planning application for the Kingfisher site to the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

We will also be considering your feedback on the Cattle Market car park, developing early designs and will bring these forward for your comments in the coming months. There will be further opportunities to engage with these proposals and provide your feedback before a separate planning application is submitted for this site next year.