WATCH: Wrecking teams move in on seafront leisure centre as opening date pushed back
PUBLISHED: 13:39 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 26 February 2020
Roaring machines are ripping into Great Yarmouth’s seafront Marina Centre - with council bosses saying it will likely add to tourism rather than blight the Golden Mile.
The process which officially started today (Wednesday, February 26) after weeks of preparation will see months of activity on the site with wrecking teams doing all they can to minimise disruption.
To make the process as low-key as possible the 40-year-old building will be stripped from the inside and folded in on itself - with all the concrete and at least 50pc of the other material being re-used in the new build.
MORE: New images released of replacement leisure centre as countdown to closure begins
Council leader Carl Smith said he hoped the demolition process would prove to be a tourist attraction in itself.
While it will be screened by colourful hoardings telling the story of the Marina site and helping to build excitement for the future there will be viewing "port holes" at child and adult height so people can see how things are going during the construction phases.
However the new centre's opening date had already been set back by the discovery of asbestos in the building, Mr Smith said,
It is now due to open in winter 2021 instead of in the summer.
The new leisure facility, set to take the same name, is billed as once-in-a-generation opportunity.
It will be around a third of the size with curling water slides and a splash pad fun park.
MORE: Looking back on magical memories at Great Yarmouth's Marina Centre
Mr Smith said he hoped it would be down completely and the site levelled by the end of June with the main contractors on site in July to start the new build.
He said the demolition could become a tourist attraction in itself and that by the peak summer season visitors would be able to enjoy unbroken views of the resort's famous golden sands - not seen for four decades.
Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group, described the latest developments and seeing piles of rubble and tangled metal as "exciting", adding: "At least something is happening after all this time."
At the back clanking diggers have bitten a huge chunk out of the sports hall which remains open to the elements.
Twenty-four hour security is in place, to deter vandals and urban explorers who like to film their adventures in abandoned buildings like leisure centres.