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Great Yarmouth Marina Centre set to be demolished as plans approved

PUBLISHED: 11:56 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:39 03 November 2017

The Marina: Leisure and Fitness Centre in Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James Bass

The Marina: Leisure and Fitness Centre in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

The first step towards demolishing a leisure complex has taken place.

Aerial view of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, 29th March 1981. Photo: Archant LibraryAerial view of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, 29th March 1981. Photo: Archant Library

Councillors on Great Yarmouth Borough Council have voted to allocate £120,000 to draw up more detailed plans about replacing the sea front Marina Centre with a new facility.

The swimming pool, which also hosts a sports hall, gym, indoor bowls centre and rollerskating rink, was built in 1981, but is in need of modernisation.

Councillors unanimously approved the decision without any debate in the council chamber.

Councillor Carl Smith conceded no option would provide the council with a break-even scenario, but building a new centre from scratch represented the most viable option in a business case prepared by council officers.

The public inspect the wave-making machine at Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, 12th June 1981. Photo: Archant LibraryThe public inspect the wave-making machine at Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, 12th June 1981. Photo: Archant Library

He said the new centre would provide year-round provision for holidaymakers and locals alike.

MORE: New vision for Great Yarmouth’s Marina Centre as council looks for private funding

The council has looked at six options for a new building, and a replacement leisure complex would cost up to £26m to build.

While the plans are still at an early stage the council says the new leisure centre could be built by 2022 if the proposals progress in accordance to its time frame.

The new facility could provide an eight-lane 25m pool with poolside spectator seating, a learner pool, poolside health suite with sauna, steam and spa, interactive indoor climbing, sports hall, 100-station health and fitness gym, fitness studio, spin studio, squash courts, café and 250 parking spaces.

Views from sea of the Yarmouth Outer Harbour, Marina Centre and seafront.
Picture: Nick ButcherViews from sea of the Yarmouth Outer Harbour, Marina Centre and seafront. Picture: Nick Butcher

Further exploration of including an additional leisure water facility at the centre is also recommended.

The council says the new building could last 40 years and will provide value to the taxpayer.

No decision has yet been made on the design of a new centre or its exact location, which would be investigated as part of the detailed feasibility study.

The Marina Centre, which is run by Sentinel Leisure Trust, is home to the Retroskate rollerskating venue.

The borough council says a feasibility study would include a sports hall which would be available for a range of uses, including artistic rollerskating and that Sentinel Leisure Trust would carry out discussions with Retroskate as part of the process.

There have been protests from the rollerskating group about retaining a dedicated facility for their group.

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