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Vision for exciting new Water and Leisure Complex set to move closer to becoming a reality in Great Yarmouth

THE VISION for an exciting new destination water and leisure complex on Great Yarmouth seafront is due to move a step closer to becoming a reality next week, as borough councillors will be asked to agree funding and submit the planning application.

Under plans by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the famous Golden Mile is set for a once-in-a-generation investment in the new anchor attraction, which will benefit the seafront and whole borough, year-round, for up to 40 years, acting as a catalyst for further investment and an important hub supporting community health and well-being.

In December, following significant project development work, full council decided that a new state-of-the-art centre on the site of the existing Marina Centre is better value for money than refurbishing the existing, or re-building in a different location. It also reduces impact on the seafront during works.

Public feedback on the concept designs, gathered during two weeks of positive public engagement in March, was considered by full council last month and has helped to shape the look and feel of the exciting final designs.

On Thursday, June 27, full council will be asked to start the formal planning process, with the aim of submitting a planning application next month.

Full council will also be asked next week to allocate funding to demolish the existing centre and build and open the new complex, subject to planning permission. The total project cost is approximately £25.9m. 

If all goes to plan, the Marina Centre will close to the public on October 31 for the initial demolition work to commence, with the Retroskate part remaining open for the roller-skating gala on November 9 and 10, before closing for demolition to start in earnest this winter. All being well, the new water and leisure complex will open during summer 2021.

Updated artist's impressions have been revealed today. The designs reflect the prime seafront location and the council's ambition to create a truly year-round "anchor attraction", including two water flumes, a splash pad, confidence water area, learner pool with moveable floor, and a six-lane 25m pool with full disabled access.

Following engagement with Swim England and Great Yarmouth Swimming Club, the main pool will be upgraded for competition and gala use, including the additional 25cms length required, timing clocks, starting blocks and tiered seating for 120 spectators.

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; first floor terrace; multi-purpose sports hall, indoor climbing facility; fitness and spin studios; soft play area; 100 extra car parking spaces; Tourist Information Centre; and a café with fabulous views over the famous beach.

Cllr Carl Smith and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, leaders of the main political groups, said: "The full council meeting is a crucial next step in bringing forward this amazing state-of-the-art water and leisure complex, which will enhance the year-round visitor economy, support further investment on the seafront and boost community health and well-being across our borough.

"Full council has already considered the public feedback from March, and it's clear that people really welcome this significant investment and are excited about the many benefits it will bring for the seafront and whole borough for decades to come. Feedback has been valuable in helping to shape the project and finalise the designs for the landmark building, which look really impressive in the updated artist's impressions.

"While we appreciate there will be unavoidable temporary disruption for users, which we will work our hardest to minimise, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a 21st century facility for future generations of residents and visitors, for our children and grandchildren. We need to grasp it with both hands."

More information about the project, including a Q&A and responses to key public feedback, is available at

Last modified on 30 January 2020

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