Norfolk is to get a new swimming pool, after the chancellor handed the county a surprise multi-million-pound bonus in his autumn statement.

The new pool is set to be built at Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre after Jeremy Hunt announced North Norfolk District Council stands to get £9.9m towards the project.

Eastern Daily Press: Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre is to get £9.9m towards a new swimming poolFakenham Sports and Fitness Centre is to get £9.9m towards a new swimming pool (Image: Everyone Active)

The extension to the centre, which will be built at Trap Lane Recreation Ground, next to the current building, will include a new 25-metre swimming pool and a multi-use games area.

The council had initially asked the government for money in 2021, but it missed out on cash from the flagship levelling up fund when announcements were made in January.

It was also not included on a list of 55 schemes to get a share of £1bn earlier this week, so Mr Hunt's autumn statement announcement on Wednesday (November 22) came as a major surprise.

Eastern Daily Press: Chancellor Jeremy HuntChancellor Jeremy Hunt (Image: Press Association)

But the money will now come as part of £37.5m to "support regeneration", with North Norfolk sharing the money with the Isles of Scilly, Warrington, Monmouthshire and Eden in Cumbria.

Eastern Daily Press: North Norfolk District Council leader Tim AdamsNorth Norfolk District Council leader Tim Adams (Image: Supplied)

Tim Adams, leader of Liberal Democrat-controlled North Norfolk District Council, said: "This is very welcome and it was a big surprise. I don't think any of us expected it.

"We know it is needed, because Fakenham is such a growing town and there will be more new housing there in the future.

"We have a good track record, as shown by the recent redevelopment of The Reef in Sheringham and I think that has helped to swing this."

The government will need to carry out checks before the money is definitely confirmed and it expects the facility to be built by March 2026.

Eastern Daily Press: Jerome Mayhew, Broadland MPJerome Mayhew, Broadland MP (Image: UK Parliament)

Jerome Mayhew, Conservative MP for Broadland, whose constituency Fakenham is in, said: "Residents will be as excited as I am with this announcement, which will provide individuals and families with the first swimming pool in Fakenham since the last one closed several years ago."

North Norfolk Council's other bid for levelling up money - for £8.5m to improve public areas and infrastructure near Cromer's clifftop gardens - has not been awarded any money.