A new South London leisure centre is on track to be built by the end of next year, a council has said.

The Kingfisher Leisure Centre shut in 2019 and was bulldozed late last year, despite an earlier petition signed by almost 4,000 locals to halt demolition.

Kingston Council is now looking for a construction partner to build the new facility after inviting companies to bid on the project. The new leisure centre is set to include two swimming pools, a café, five-a-side rooftop football pitches and a climbing wall.

The authority said in a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service that building works on the new centre are set to be completed “as currently scheduled”.

A spokesperson for Kingston Council said: “Kingston’s new leisure and community complex, with sustainable facilities that are inclusive for all, is making solid progress.

“Following successful demolition of the old unsafe Kingfisher building late last year, the council is currently out to tender for a construction partner. Construction is expected to commence once the contract has been awarded, and building works are estimated to be complete as currently scheduled by the end of 2024.”

The Kingfisher on Fairfield Road shut in 2019 after it was decided that repairs to fix the roof would cost more than £5 million. Proposals to bulldoze the centre were green-lit in March 2022, with demolition completed later that year. The replacement facility won planning permission in May.

A council report in October last year said the estimated total cost of the project had risen by £13.4 million from the agreed £39.6 million budget to around £53 million based on the latest estimates.

The Kingston Council spokesperson added: “The new leisure complex will bring accessible facilities right to the heart of Kingston town centre. Residents and visitors can look forward to five-a-side rooftop football, two swimming pools with spectator seating, a children’s splash deck and climbing wall, flexible community spaces, a café and much more.”