Ground-breaking marks start of construction of new Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth
The ground has been broken to start construction of Great Yarmouth's exciting new state-of-the-art Marina Centre, with Great Yarmouth Borough Council sharing a video on social media in order to celebrate this exciting milestone with the community.
The council's £26m investment will be a major boost to the economy and community for decades to come, acting as a catalyst for potential further investment and seafront regeneration, whilst supporting health and well-being for the whole borough.
While it was not possible to stage a ground-breaking ceremony on-site, the council worked with main contractor Morgan Sindall Construction to create a "virtual ground-breaking ceremony" in the form of a video shared with residents on the council's social media channels. Watch the video here.
In addition to footage of the digger breaking the ground, and artist's impressions, the video also includes messages from Cllr Carl Smith and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, leaders of the council's main political groups, Alister Broadberry, Morgan Sindall Construction's Eastern Counties area director, and Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth's MP.
With the piling of the foundations underway this winter, the steel structure will go up in spring, with cladding going on during summer and internal works and fit-out then commencing. It is scheduled to open in summer 2022.
The project is funded by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, plus £2.5m secured from the Government's Getting Building Fund, via New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, £1.6m from Sport England, and £500,000 from Pooled Business Rates.
The construction process itself will support the local economy, with 75 per cent of the project's supply chain being drawn from SME companies in Great Yarmouth. It will also create training and employment opportunities for people living locally.
Cllr Smith and Cllr Wainwright said: "This is an exciting milestone the council has been working hard towards and a very positive way to start 2021. We'd like to thank all those who have been involved in driving this project forward during challenging times, as well as our external funders.
"Supporting both our economic and physical health, the new Marina Centre is a crucial part of our recovery as a place, benefitting the visitor economy and borough as a year-round anchor seafront attraction and an important community hub for the promotion of indoor and outdoor physical activity.
"Over the coming months, we along with the whole community will be watching with excitement as our centre takes shape, delivering a state-of-the-art landmark facility on our seafront, while in the process supporting local supply chain businesses, plus training and employment opportunities for local people."
Alister Broadberry, Morgan Sindall Construction's Eastern Counties area director, said: "We are delighted that the journey to create this transformational scheme has taken another huge step forward. This signature development will act as a catalyst for potential further investment and seafront regeneration, whilst supporting health and well-being for the whole borough.
"The project will create a wealth of training and employment opportunities and the investment being made will stay local, with a significant proportion of the project's supply chain targeted to SMEs within or local to Great Yarmouth."
Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, said: "This ground-breaking is superb and exciting news for Great Yarmouth. It shows that this project is progressing, that we're investing in the borough, and everyone can look forward to having a new centre that's state-of-the-art which will benefit the economy and our residents and visitors for many years to come."
Sport England Director of Property Charles Johnston said: "It is fantastic to see the start of construction on what will be a life-changing development for residents of Great Yarmouth. With funding support from Sport England as part of our continued work to help build more spaces and places which will help the nation to be active, the development of the Marina Centre will help those of all ages and abilities find a way to be active for generations to come."
CJ Green, chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "We're delighted to be supporting this project through our allocation from the Government's Getting Building Fund.
"It will act as a catalyst for further investment and regeneration in Great Yarmouth and it will be a fantastic community facility for both locals and visitors. The construction project will also be a very welcome boost to the local supply chain, so it's great to see work starting so quickly."
The new Marina Centre will be a truly year-round anchor attraction, including a six-lane 25m pool with full disabled access and suitable for competitions, a confidence water area and learner pool with moveable floor, leisure water with fun play features, two water flumes and a splash pad.
The complex will also be equipped with a 100-station health and fitness gym with views to the sea, four-court multi-purpose sports hall, indoor climbing zone for all ages, a café with fabulous views to the beach, and accessible multi-use flexible community spaces that can be used for a wide range of activities and services.