New vision for Great Yarmouth’s Marina Centre as council looks for private funding
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A fifth option is being scoped out for Great Yarmouth's seafront Marina Centre as councillors 'test the market' in the private sector.
Members of Great Yarmouth Borough Council have also agreed to drill down further into the costs of a total rebuild, further delaying the decision process.
It means the shape of things to come at the seaside site could take longer to become clear.
But with millions of pounds at stake officials say it has to right.
The latest recommendations agreed by the powerful policy and resources committee include setting aside £38,000 to market the site on a larger footprint.
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The hope is now that the council can attract private sector funding for a larger scale project using more of the stretch between the piers, which the council owns.
Plans for redevelopment of the 1980's built leisure centre have been on the table for more than a decade, but failed to come to fruition as the economy dipped.
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Now council leader Graham Plant hopes things are buoyant enough to try again.
He said plans to make a decision had been 'put on hold' while the council tested the market to see if it could be doing something more.
The delay means leaseholders are secure until March 2018.
'If there's private money out there then why shouldn't we go out to the market?' Mr Plant said. 'We want to go out and test the market to see if anyone wants to come in with us in a joint venture and do something a bit more than what the council can do. It moves the goal posts a bit because we are looking for a bigger development to what the council can do on its own. There could be new things on the market that we do not even know about.'
He said the thinking picked up from an earlier seafront plan which came to nothing when the market collapsed.
The borough council announced plans to redevelop both the Phoenix pool in Bradwell and the Marina Centre in partnership with the Sentinel Leisure Trust and Pulse 18 months ago.
Options include doing nothing, a full refurbishment adding a gym and spa but losing the indoor bowls and skating rinks, or a total rebuild with either a community pool or competition pool.
Consultants say that doing nothing would represent 'a managed decline' while the new-build option could provide a 'high quality efficient leisure centre.'