New operator revealed for town's £26m seafront leisure centre

An artist's impression of what the new Marina Centre on the Golden Mile could look like from the bea

An artist's impression of what the new Marina Centre on the Golden Mile could look like from the beach Picture: GYBC - Credit: Archant

A new operator has been appointed for two leisure centres in Great Yarmouth.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has announced Freedom Leisure will run the new £26m Marina Centre when it launches next summer, and the Phoenix Pool and Gym in Bradwell under a ten year contract.

Great Yarmouth Marina topping out ceremony. Interior views. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Great Yarmouth Marina topping out ceremony. Interior views. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Staff at the Phoenix will transfer from current operator Sentinel Leisure Trust in January.

Customer memberships and prices will also transfer unchanged.

Great Yarmouth Marina topping out ceremony. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Freedom Leisure has been announced as the new operator of Great Yarmouth's Marina Centre which is due to launch in July 2022. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Council leader Carl Smith said: “Freedom Leisure impressed us with its proven track record in over 100 sports and leisure complexes around the UK, and a supportive approach to running community facilities like the Phoenix.

“The council is making a significant long-term investment in the new Marina Centre and we look forward to working with Freedom to make it a success for the whole borough.”

The new Marina Centre

The new Marina Centre under construction on Great Yarmouth seafront. - Credit: James Weeds

Labour group leader Trevor Wainwright said: “As a not-for-profit leisure trust, Freedom can focus on helping our residents and visitors have fitter, healthier, lifestyles.

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"It is also committed to reducing its environmental impact and developing and rewarding the people it employs.”

Freedom Leisure chief executive Ivan Horsfall Turner added: “We are delighted and excited to be working in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council, to both develop and improve the Phoenix Pool and Gym and to launch the new Marina Centre.

A video has been released giving people the chance to walk through the new leisure centre being tipp

An artist's impression of what the Marina Centre will look like when it's finished. - Credit: GYBC

“We know how valued these centres are by residents and visitors alike, and with the new Marina Centre due to open its doors next year, customers, staff, local residents and tourists can look forward to seeing positive changes and improvements to their local leisure centres and importantly, their health and wellbeing.”

Freedom Leisure runs over 100 centres across England and Wales from sports and leisure centres to swimming pools, lidos and stadiums.

In East Anglia, it manages centres at March, Wisbech, and Chatteris, and in total employs over 4,000 people across its 108 sites and head office.

The previous Marina Centre closed in 2019.

Contactors Morgan Sindall Construction broke ground in January this year, with a "topping out" ceremony marking the completion of the exterior of the building in September.

The interior is being fitted out with an expected opening date in late July 2022.