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Hotel may help pay for new Sheringham Splash

North Norfolk District Council has today, October 25, announced that a multi-million pound investment in council leisure facilities at Sheringham could be on its way, partly paid for by a new hotel.

Part of the land around Splash will be made available this week for a hotel development on the site.

The potential sale of the site would help to pay for an improved leisure centre at Splash, which is now almost 30 years old.

Marketing part of the three acre site will be carried out by commercial property experts, Pygott and Crone, on behalf of the site owners, North Norfolk District Council, with a range of options available for the exact positioning of the hotel on the site. Any funds from a hotel will be directly used to part fund the new leisure centre.

A feasibility study on the future leisure centre – either a refurbishment or a new build – is due to go to North Norfolk District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 8th November.

The study was commissioned over the summer, following the Council’s Cabinet decision in June setting out the Council’s proposed options for new sports facilities.

Splash will continue to be open as usual to customers and members while future investment plans are considered by the authority.

Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “This is an imaginative proposal and one that would see the local authority invest in future sporting facilities and build the area’s reputation as a centre of sporting excellence.

Councillor Judy Oliver, cabinet member for asset commercialisation and a Sheringham (South) ward member said: “This is at an early stage and it shows the potential of the scheme to generate improved facilities for local people while safeguarding facilities for our ever increasing number of visitors. We are committed to keeping all the current leisure facilities – the leisure centre and skate park – on the site.”

Councillor Maggie Prior, cabinet member for health and wellbeing added: “Keeping fit and active is vital and we know that funding new sporting centres is often beyond the resources of local authorities. By taking this approach we will be able to see whether the new sporting centre could be partly paid for by a hotel in Sheringham. It’s a clear opportunity to improve facilities for all.”

Councillor Brian Hannah, member for Sheringham North, said: “I’m very pleased to support the continuation of sports facilities on this site, sport and fitness is of huge importance to all ages in this community.”

Key facts:

  • 168,000 customers visited Splash last year (2016)
  • Splash was opened in May 1988 by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales
  • It currently offers a gym with 28 stations, 2 dance studios, 1 badminton court plus a leisure pool

The council’s 2015 Indoor Leisure Facilities Strategy recommended that the Sheringham facility was protected – either by a new facility or modernisation.

The proposal has been drawn up to guarantee the ongoing provision of the Sheringham Skate Park and Sheringham Sporting Association’s football and cricket facilities on the current and adjacent sites.

Following consideration of the report by Overview and Scrutiny, it is likely that the council’s cabinet will consider a full business case for the proposal at its meeting on the  December 4 2017 and if necessary, any Ccouncil budget decision will then go to the  December 19 Full Council meeting.

In addition, the council is about to test the market for a new leisure and pool operator to take on the Council’s Leisure Contract which is due for renewal on  March 31 2019.

The current contract covers Fakenham Sports and Fitness, Splash Leisure and Fitness in Sheringham and Victory Swim and Fitness Centre in North Walsham and the procurement process will run at the same time as any improvements to the Sheringham site.

Leisure facts:

  • All three leisure centres are highly successful with 462,000 visits in 2016/17
  • People for Places runs the current Council’s Leisure Contract