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Water flumes, splash zone, climbing wall, and spa – council sets out its vision for new £26m complex

PUBLISHED: 08:58 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 06 December 2018

Yarmouth Marina Centre.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Yarmouth Marina Centre. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Norfolk’s biggest resort is poised for a new £26m water and leisure complex tipped as a “once in a generation” investment.

Yarmouth Marina Centre.
Picture: Nick ButcherYarmouth Marina Centre. Picture: Nick Butcher

The “anchor attraction” for Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile will replace the 1980’s built Marina Centre and feature a climbing wall, gym, 25m pool and giant slides that will announce the attraction and be seen from the outside.

If all goes to plan the centre could open in little more than two years.

The announcement comes after years of hand-wringing over the future of the outdated complex, initially hailed as a model for leisure centres but soon derided as a costly white elephant.

The new “game-changer” vision will see a smaller centre take shape on the same spot with some 200 parking spaces, opening up the seafront and views of the beach.

Swimmers enjoying the pool at Yarmouth's Marina Centre. Picture: Archant librarySwimmers enjoying the pool at Yarmouth's Marina Centre. Picture: Archant library

The building itself will be environmentally friendly and free to enter, with a beach-side cafe making the most of its position next to the resort’s famous wide sands.

Graham Plant and Trevor Wainwright, the political group leaders, said: “The council is signalling its clear ambition to make a major once-in-a-generation investment for the benefit of the seafront and the whole borough for up to 40 years, building upon the significant investment that’s already taking place on the seafront and in the wider area.

“Great Yarmouth is Norfolk’s top seaside destination, with its annual visitor economy now worth £625m, supporting 36pc of the local employment workforce – an estimated 12,000 jobs.

“This exciting regional water and leisure complex would be a game-changer for the Golden Mile as a new anchor facility, enhancing the year-round visitor economy, acting as a catalyst for further investment, and supporting health, well-being and fitness opportunities for people across the borough.”

Aerial view of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Archant libraryAerial view of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Archant library

Council members will vote on the proposal to demolish the Marina and build the new water-themed centre on Thursday December 13

If all goes to plan the public will be asked what they think the building should look like in January at a series of consultation events and the wrecking balls could move in after the summer season next year.

Building work should finish in time for the 2021 season.

Under the scheme there will be two water flumes, a splash pad, confidence water area, learner pool, and a six-lane 25m pool.

The complex will also be equipped with a state-of-the-art health suite with sauna, steam and spa, a 100-station health and fitness gym, indoor climbing facility, fitness and spin studios, sports hall, soft play area and a café.

Officials said the new sports hall would be suitable for roller skating and short mat bowls.

In the new-build there will be no place for the indoor bowls club or squash courts.

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