The £20m swimming pool and sports complex will be built at Moor Lane to replace the ageing, outdated Kingsway Leisure Centre.
It will include a 25m x 6-lane swimming pool with a learner pool, 100-station gym and a four-court sports hall.
Halton Borough Council has been working with Wates Construction and Ellis Williams Architects of Runcorn on the two-storey centre.
It has been designed to be more environmentally friendly with lower carbon emissions and reduced energy costs.
Dave Saville, business unit director for Wates Construction in the North West, said: “This leisure centre represents a major placemaking opportunity for Widnes.
“Alongside Halton Council and our architects, we’ve carefully designed this project to meet the health and wellbeing needs of as many people as possible and provide a community hub which can be enjoyed for generations to come.”