Opening date revealed for Great Yarmouth's £26m swimming and sports centre
Great Yarmouth's £26m new seafront swimming and sports centre will open on August 5, the borough council has announced.
The new Marina Centre on Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, boasts a six-lane swimming pool, learner pool and aqua play with flumes; along with a 120-station gym, four court sports hall, 10m indoor climbing zone, three studios, and community spaces.
Many of the facilities feature stunning panoramic views of Great Yarmouth beach, with a central atrium and café open to linking the promenade to the beach and an outdoor performance space.
The centre will open on Friday, August 5 for invited local sports club and community organisations to tour the centre and try out its extensive new facilities first-hand, with the centre opening to the public from approximately 1pm to 10pm.
The centre's general opening times will be 6.30am to 10pm weekdays, 8am to 6pm Saturdays and 9am to 8pm on Sundays, although individual activities will have separate timetables.
Demand for the centre's new climbing wall, leisure water and sports courts are expected to be busy, with booking opening via the centre's website in the days ahead of opening.
A range of casual use and membership options are available, with residents able to claim a Passport to Leisure discount card for a one-off annual fee of £15. Cardholders will be entitled to special offers, including free swimming for the over 75s and a 10% discount off a range of popular activities.
The Marina Centre will be operated by Freedom Leisure - one of the most successful and growing not for profit leisure and cultural trusts in the UK - on behalf of Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
Until the end of July, Freedom is offering discounted membership options including three months free on annual memberships and waived admin fees.
Freedom is currently fitting out the new centre with a 120-station gym featuring the latest equipment, with a new staff team preparing to run the centre, exercise classes and swimming lessons, and the public Boardwalk Café.
Cycle racks and more than 150 car parking spaces, including electric vehicle charging bays, will be available from August 5, with further parking opening later in August. Centre users can claim up to three hour's free parking.
Council leader Carl Smith said: "We can't wait to open the doors of the new Marina Centre so that residents and visitors can experience the fantastic new facilities on offer.
"The centre will cater for all levels of experience and confidence and is designed to be accessible to all."
Freedom Leisure chief executive Ivan Horsfall Turner said: "We are now counting down the days to the opening of the fabulous new Marina Centre - it's an excellent health and wellbeing facility which offers a great range of activities.
"We can't wait to welcome the local community and visitors to Great Yarmouth."
The centre's opening will be further marked with a gala weekend over September 3 and 4, including a relay event featuring a specially commissioned Marina Centre torch. The torch is based on a design by East Norfolk Sixth Form student Ednilson Dos Reis, whose artwork won a competition for local young people.
The new centre has been 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 the Norfolk business rates pool.