Kingston residents can look forward to a brand new swimming pool and leisure centre after Lib Dems on Kingston Council committed to replace the Kingfisher Centre which was closed earlier this year due to structural integrity of the roof.
The Kingfisher Centre was coming towards the end of its life as it was closed earlier this year, and instead of spending £5-million to repair its roof, Lib Dems on Kingston Council instead want to invest in the borough’s services for the future, providing a new facility fit for the twenty-first century.
A full recommendation, with all the details of how this decision was reached, will be presented to the Response and Recovery Committee next week and the Council has already started to prepare a business case so that work on the replacement can start before the end of the year.
The option of replacing the Kingfisher Centre, compared to fixing the existing end-of-life building will add around 18-months to the reopening date, but when weighed-up with the opportunity to provide brand new facilities for local residents, it was agreed a new complex would be better value for money.
Cllr Caroline Kerr, Leader of Kingston Council, said, “Lots of residents in Kingston use the Kingfisher Centre and I’m delighted that, despite the current stretch on public finances, we will be providing a high quality swimming pool and leisure complex for residents to use and enjoy.
“If we were to proceed with repairs to the existing building’s roof, we might be able to reopen sooner, but ultimately the building is coming towards the end of its expected life. We believe that it’s better to invest in the future of Kingston, and provide a new centre that will form a core part of our vision for the town centre.”
Cllr Rebekah Moll, Councillor for Grove Ward, said, “I know that the Kingfisher continuing to be closed is a disappointment for many, but as a local mum I’m excited that Lib Dems have committed to a new swimming pool that will not only benefit my children, but generations to come. Any option to reopen the pool will take a number of years, but the additional few months needed to deliver a brand new complex will be well worth the wait.”