New £1.9m swimming pool and fitness centre opens in Bradwell

The newly refurbished and extended Phoenix Pool and Gym in Bradwell, Great Yarmouth.

The newly refurbished and extended Phoenix Pool and Gym in Bradwell, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: GYBC

As Team GB continued its extraordinary Paralympic success in the pool in Rio fitness fans were told there was “no excuse” for not diving into newly revamped facilities in Bradwell.

Swimmers were ploughing up and down the Phoenix Pool, in Bradwell, from 6.30am on Wednesday as civic dignitaries and supporters gathered to launch the upgraded centre following a £1.9m transformation.

Builders have been on site remodelling the 1970’s-built pool since February and adding a 60-station gym, thermal spa with sauna and steam room, changing village and fitness suite - nearly doubling its footprint and taking it over two floors.

Leading the opening were Carl Smith former chairman of the partnership board, Penny Carpenter, chair of the housing and neighbourhoods committee alongside Trevor Wainwright current chair of the partnership board.

They all hailed the redevelopment as a great community asset for the Bradwell side of the river proving the borough council’s commitment to sport and leisure provision.

The scheme, talked about since 2012, came about following a consultation and was in line with what locals were asking for they said.

Mrs Carpenter said the pool’s opening could not have been better timed chiming with Great Britain’s extraordinary Olympic swimming success in Rio with local girl Jessica-Jane Applegate proving what could be achieved and meaning there was “no excuse” for getting in the pool.

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Mr Wainwright stressed that the borough council’s partner Sentinel Leisure Trust was a charitable not-for-profit organisation.

He said: “In 2012 the pool was struggling and it would have been easy for the council to hand it back to Norfolk County Council who were the owners at the time. It wasn’t viable as it was but the borough council had a vision. It has been difficult at times and ran slightly over time but it has come in on budget and is a great facility for the people of the borough.”

Diane Rynn, 40, of St Hugh’s Green Gorleston was among the first members of the public to look round the site, quickly declaring her intention to become a member.

She said she was impressed with the cleanliness and standard of facilities and would be joining both herself and her 14-year-old daughter who loved swimming with a view to using it several times a week.

Already more than 530 people have signed up, helping the Phoenix towards its target of 1200 in year two.

A £9m revamp for Great Yarmouth’s Marina Centre is still in the planning stage with councillors set to vote on their preferred model at the end of the year.

The centre in Widgeon Way is open seven days a week 6.30am to 10pm and has created ten new jobs.

People are invited to a free taster weekend tomorrow and Sunday when they can have a look round and try out what is on offer.