'It's a marvellous day for Yarmouth' - Marina Centre reaches milestone
- Credit: Brittany Woodman
The start of the next phase of a £26m leisure centre construction project on Great Yarmouth seafront has been been celebrated with a topping out ceremony.
The ceremony at the Marina Centre site saw a tour of the building given to representatives of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and developers who were given an insight into how the facility will eventually be a hive of activity for gym users, swimmers and sport lovers from next summer.
The event began with speeches by Alister Broadberry, area manager for Morgan Sindall Construction, Carl Smith, leader of GYBC and Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Mr Smith praised the efforts of Morgan Sindall and GYBC and thanked investors in the project.
Mr Starkie applauded GYBC for their "can-do positive attitude" and said that with the development of the Marina Centre, the Market Place, and soon, the Winter Gardens, there was a "new dawn of Great Yarmouth with investment and enterprise".
Following the speeches, attendees were given a tour inside the facility before finishing up on the roof.
It saw Lacons beer being poured to celebrate the new roof being watertight, meaning that work can now be ramped up inside the building.
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Mr Thompson said: "It is a marvellous day for Great Yarmouth.
"This will be an absolute asset to the borough and it is on time and on budget and that's fantastic.
"I certainly will be using the facility, I look forward to the opening in 2022.
"I'll come along and have a look. I don't know if I will be using the gym though."
Chris Starkie added: "This is a really exciting day and a landmark moment for Great Yarmouth in terms of this building being an icon on the seafront, replacing what was a bit of a tired facility.
"This is about raising the profile of the town to visitors but also to residents, as well appreciating the assets and taking advantage of what a fantastic facility this is.
"And also enabling wider investment and regeneration along the seafront, which will certainly happen as a consequence of this investment."
What our reporter saw
I was impressed by the sheer space inside the development. High ceilings and a mezzanine feel really modern and welcoming. I could picture a gym on the balcony and the sound of weights clanging on the floor. I can really see this being a welcome addition to the town.
As I approached the stairs leading to the roof, I looked over the far side of the balcony and was trying to imagine where the pools would be going. It is hard to properly picture how much the development will change in the upcoming months, but the scale of the inside proves that it will be an expansive leisure experience for all.
Through where the windows will be, I caught the sun reflecting off the North Sea. Looking back, it feels as if the old Marina Centre missed a trick with their dulled few windows facing eastward.
The view from the rooftop is unique, feeling virtually face to face with the Tower Complex. I think, if possible, it would make for a fantastic al fresco dining area.
The new centre seems to have had a lot of thought put into its views.