Fate of £26m revamp of Great Yarmouth Marina Centre to be sealed next month
PUBLISHED: 08:28 17 May 2019
The long-awaited fate of Great Yarmouth's Marina Centre is due to be settled at an extraordinary council meeting next month.
A major project to demolish and rebuild the leisure centre on the Yarmouth seafront is currently being explored by the borough council, in what could cost up to £26m.
The proposal has not been without its critics, with concerns raised about the loss of facilities while the centre is out of action, while financial difficulties around the closure have also held the scheme up.
However, next month, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is finally set to make its decision on whether to press ahead with the project, with an extraordinary meeting due to be held on Thursday, June 27.
It comes after the council received a petition signed by 1,600 people calling for a stop to the demolition - at least until a new facility has been completed.
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It was presented by Ernie Childs, owner of Great Yarmouth Potteries, who collected the signatures alongside his wife Karen.
Presenting the petition during a full council meeting, Mr Childs said: "The proposals for replacing the Marina Centre should be re-evaluated - they fall short of what we already have, do not provide value to the tax payer and will be a step backward for Great Yarmouth.
"If the council decides to demolish the existing Marina before erecting a new complex, what alternative and adequate swimming venues are available for residents and visitors within the borough? None."
Members of committee were given three options relating to the petition - to agree to its request, deny the request or to further investigate its options. They voted to follow the latter.
However, Graham Plant, Conservative deputy leader of the council, said: "For three years we have been looking at several options for location - some land we own, some we don't - and no other options have stacked up financially."
Labour councillor Bernard Williamson added that the building's current condition would require it to be closed down for health and safety reasons in the coming years if the project does not go ahead.