New hotel development could fund £8m swimming pool in Sheringham

Splash leisure centre in Sheringham could be demolished and rebuilt. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Splash leisure centre in Sheringham could be demolished and rebuilt. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

North Norfolk's biggest sports and swimming centre could be knocked down and rebuilt as part of an ambitious project to improve leisure provision in the District.

A new hotel and retail development could be built in Sheringham to fund a new state-of-the-art swimming pool in the town.

North Norfolk District Council revealed its preferred option for replacing the ageing Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre, which was opened by the late Diana Princess of Wales in May 1988.

The local authority revealed the £8 million project, which includes the demolition of the current building could be paid for using a combination of long term loans, Sport England funding and income from additional development on neighbouring land.

The council revealed it hasn't ruled out refurbishing the pool but warned the move would not be cost effective because of the cost of heating the building.

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Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Judy Oliver, North Norfolk District Council's Cabinet Member for Property, said: 'This is a highly imaginative and inspirational plan which has the potential to secure a long term future for Splash.

'We have great aspirations for leisure services across North Norfolk and the opportunity to build a modern, efficient and fit for purpose facility in one of our premier coastal towns is very exciting.

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'I welcome this plan wholeheartedly and welcome the input we have had from Sport England.'

Initial details of the proposed plan were made public on Monday in papers to the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which will meet on May 17.

However, it is unlikely any new building will be completed before the council's current leisure contract with Places for People, which also covers Fakenham Sports and Fitness, and Victory Swim and Fitness Centre in North Walsham, ends on March 31, 2019.

Councillor Maggie Prior, North Norfolk District Council's Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: 'The range of leisure opportunities across North Norfolk makes a significant contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of our residents.

'We want to improve Splash and give it a long term, viable future. It already attracts 160,000 visits a year and I believe that an improved facility would see this number increase, benefiting both our residents and the tourism economy, which is so crucial to this part of the world.'

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