New £26m seafront leisure centre on track for July opening
- Credit: Kate Wolstenholme
The Marina Centre is back! But with a leaner, trimmer new look that is fit for 21st century life and leisure.
The £26m complex is expected to open in July and have an immediate impact on health and wellbeing, as well as bringing wider economic benefits and jobs for the town has a whole.
The new centre - a compact version of its predecessor - has been described as a "once in a generation investment" and the shape of things to come is now clear to see on the seafront.
As well as creating jobs it is expected to drive further investment in the town and seafront which has been enjoying a holiday renaissance as families opt to stay in the UK rather than travel abroad in the wake of the pandemic.
The landmark attraction on Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile aims to bring something better to the borough.
At the heart of the offer is an indoor water complex, probably the only one of its kind in Norfolk, featuring a six-lane pool, learner pool with moveable floor, and a splash pad activity centre full of fun fountains, sprays and jets.
There will be two flumes winding very visibly on the outside of the building, one for a single rider, and one for two - the double one being the only one of its kind for miles around.
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It replaces the 1981 complex of the same name, a sprawling building which had become too large to maintain and a drain on the public purse.
The centre's chosen operators Freedom Leisure have advertised for a range of job roles for people who want to "improve lives through leisure" ahead of the opening.
Jobs available include management roles and opportunities within the operational, fitness, catering, events and front of house teams.
Freedom Leisure is also looking to recruit swimming teachers and lifeguards with excellent training opportunities available in these roles, it says.
The centre has been hailed as "a new dawn for Great Yarmouth" of investment and enterprise with the new Market Place, Winter Gardens renovation, and third river crossing representing a major shift and proof of the town's "can-do" attitude.
Due to the discovery of asbestos and various Covid-related hold-ups and shortages the centre is opening a year later than first envisaged, although given the challenges and constraints it is still reckoned an impressive achievement.