Announcement expected on future of Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham
A major announcement is expected early next week over the future of one of North Norfolk's most popular visitor attractions.
Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham, which has a wave machine and slide, cost £2.5m, took five years to plan and build, and was opened in May 1988 by the late Diana Princess of Wales.
However, council chiefs have previously admitted the ageing building is in need of modernisation. And, last year, they revealed local authority owned land around the site could be sold for housing to pay for its redevelopment.
In March this year, North Norfolk District Council announced it has engaged the consultants in further works to provide design and funding advice for future investment in two high profile leisure facilities in the district.
Now the council has called a press conference 'about the future of Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham' at its headquarters in Cromer on Monday at 2pm ahead of a report being presented to the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee with fuller detail about the proposal.
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A source said: 'What comes next for Splash has been discussed widely in the news in the past, but the line now is that a proposal is formally being put forward to address the long term future of the site.'
A new £5m swimming pool complex in Sheringham was among key recommendations in a report looking at indoor leisure in north Norfolk, published two years ago.
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Consultant Neil Allen Associates (naa) said swimming was the most popular adult participation sport across the district.
And Sheringham was the area of north Norfolk where the demand for swimming was greatest.
Speaking on a visit to the pool last year, Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, the local authority's leader, said: 'We are committed to trying to replicate and replace this facility when the time comes but maintain it up until then.
'Everywhere is crying out for things like swimming pools. We are where we are with the building but we are actually looking for, as with other things, imaginative ways of how we could possibly reprovide something on site.
'Given we won't be given any government grants for it we're looking at commercialisation of some assets that we can actually provide facilities but without having to draw on capital.
'There are some difficult questions. We've spent a lot on this building but there comes a time when you think: Can we afford to keep spending money? I know people say it looks a bit unattractive from the outside but we've done alot to stabilise the building, make it look attractive inside and what's really important is that when you come inside there is very committed staff here.'