Demolition of Splash leisure centre brought forward
- Credit: Archant
A council is planning to take advantage of lockdown to demolish an old leisure centre sooner than planned, so its replacement can be completed ahead of schedual.
Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham is being replaced by a new £12.6m swimming pool after North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) agreed to upgrade the original 31-year-old facility.
The new, upgraded leisure centre is currently scheduled to be completed in August with the demolition of the old Splash centre not due to take place until after the new centre had opened, in order to provide continuity for users.
But, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding when gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres in England will be able to reopen let alone operate at full capacity, NNNDC has decided to bring forward the demolition of the old Splash, and knock it down while the new centre is still being built.
It is hoped demolishing the old centre while the new one is still being built will knock several months off the current completion plan and enable the whole site, including the car park, which would have been delayed until the old site was knocked down, to be completed in time for the summer.
The council said it also felt the costs and the resources needed to reopen Splash when the current lockdown ends would not be justified for the short period it would likely be open for and the reduced capacity it will inevitably have to operate at.
Virginia Gay, NNDC Cabinet member and portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture, said: “Getting the new leisure centre all completed in time for the main summer season would be a fantastic way of celebrating the hopeful return to normality after such a long period of time.
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"The new facility was designed to be built at the front of the Splash site in order to ensure there was continual access to such facilities for local people.
"Given that the Splash now seems unlikely to be used to any great extent during the run up to the completion of the new leisure centre, it makes perfect sense to make best use of that time to bring forward the completion date.”