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No 'quick fix' for Marina Centre pool

PUBLISHED: 18:30 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:48 03 July 2010

Liz Coates

Great Yarmouth's only public swimming pool will remain shut for another three weeks after a detailed inspection revealed more repairs are needed to make the building safe.

Great Yarmouth's only public swimming pool will remain shut for another three weeks after a detailed inspection revealed more repairs are needed to make the building safe.

Engineers, officials and architects met on Wednesdayto decide against a “quick fix” solution and in favour of a longer closure that will allow contractors to carry out all the work “in one hit.”

Simon Mutten, environmental services manager for the borough council, apologised to disabled groups, schools and learners, as well as family fun swimmers who will be denied the chance to splash out at the Marina Centre's tropical leisure pool which has already been shut for more than three weeks, and for the whole of the school holidays.

The timing of the damage, caused by high winds ahead of the Easter break was particularly unfortunate, coming just as snow wiped out trade for outdoor attractions, benefiting indoor ones like swimming pools.

He said scaffolding would take up a large chunk of the final bill which would probably run into the tens of thousands.

“The wind pulled up a couple of the panels and we went up to have a look and thought it would be judicious to have a few more down. They looked at the wood the panels were secured to and said they did not feel comfortable fixing the panels back on to it. The building is 28 years old and it is unfortunate it happened when it did but it would have come to light sooner or later. It is maintenance that would have taken place at some point.

“We have taken a cautious approach, materials have been ordered and should be delivered today. We could have done a quick fix that would have meant coming back later but with the cost of scaffolding it makes sense to put it up in one hit. We would like to think we could get it open earlier.

“We do sincerely apologise to the users of the pool for the delay and hope that they will bear with us whilst the works are completed.”

Marina Centre manager Wayne Nixon said that although lost revenue could be claimed for under the Great Yarmouth Sport and Leisure Trust's insurance he was concerned that regular users would be tempted elsewhere possibly to pools in Norwich and Sheringham - and stay with them in the long term.

But he hoped the effects of the closure would underline the pool's importance as a recreational facility, helping to seal its future.

Meanwhile the trust is today taking over the management of Bradwell's Phoenix Pool.

Marie Hartley, trust chief executive stressed the rest of the Marina Centre remained open for business.

For opening times and information about the Phoenix Pool call 01493 664575.

The closure of the Marina Centre swimming pool in Great Yarmouth are not affecting roller skating public sessions every Sunday morning. The sessions open to all ages, are held from 10am to 11.30am with fun games. The cost is £2.50. For more details, call Glenn Wicks on 07853180742, or go through to the sports hall and join in.

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