Redevelopment of Sheringham Splash pool, opened by the Princess of Wales 25 years ago, to be looked at in leisure review

The Princess of Wales sharing a joke with council chairman Anthony Duckworth-Chad at the opening of

The Princess of Wales sharing a joke with council chairman Anthony Duckworth-Chad at the opening of Splash.

The future of Sheringham's aging and energy-inefficient Splash swimming pool is set to be looked at in an upcoming review of a leisure contract.

Sheringham Splash

Sheringham Splash - Credit: EDPpics 2003 (01603) 772434

The centre, which also includes a gym, is 25 years old, and costs twice as much to run as its sister operation, the newer Victory at North Walsham.

The Princess of Wales opening Sheringham Splash in May 1988. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The Princess of Wales opening Sheringham Splash in May 1988. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

North Norfolk District Council is looking at its current contact with DC Leisure which runs both sites, as well as the sports complex at Fakenham, where there is some dual use with the high school.

The council cabinet is being asked to look at extending the contract for up to five years, while considering 'redevelopment opportunities' at Splash.

Splash, 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.


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The then chairman of the district council Anthony Duckworth-Chad said the pool would be a benefit to tourists when the weather stopped them using the beaches.

'We hope we have found a solution. Here the east wind doesn't blow, the rain doesn't fall, it is warm and there are waves, a shop, food and lifeguards,' he told the opening ceremony.

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Four thousand people flocked to see the princess, and passed on get well messages and gifts for her son Harry, then three, who was recovering from an operation in London.

The future for the now-aging centre however remains an open book.

Leisure cabinet member John Lee said there were no firm plans or vision, and all options would be explored.

They could include other contractors, taking the centres back 'in house' or running leisure via a trust.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: 'Recreation facilities are very important, but must be driven by value for money.'

The council currently gives a £370,000 annual subsidy to DC Leisure to run the centres.

A report to Monday's cabinet says a contract re-jig had the potential to save between £50,000 and £100,000.

About 180,000 people a year use the Victory centre, 160,000 Splash and 90.000 use Fakenham, where there is no pool.

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