A £12.6 million investment in state-of-the-art sporting facilities in North Norfolk will go before councillors next week.
The multi-million pound investment would see a £10 million new leisure centre with a swimming pool at the Splash site in Sheringham and a £2.6 million indoor tennis centre with gym at a new North Norfolk Community Sports Hub in Cromer, with satellite tennis facilities across the district at Fakenham, Wells and North Walsham.
The proposals will be considered at the council’s overview and scrutiny meeting next Wednesday. The reports will then go to Cabinet on December 4. If the proposals are supported they will go to full council on December 19 for the funding to be agreed.
Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “We know that keeping fit and active is important for residents. These ambitious plans would see a £12.6 million investment in sport and active leisure; that’s a wise investment for the Council as well as good news for the community who will benefit from better sports facilities.”
The North Norfolk Community Sports Hub would be created in partnership with Cromer Academy and part-grant funded by the Lawn Tennis association (LTA) and should be built by mid-2019 if councillors approve the proposals.
The new facility will include:
- Three indoor tennis courts
- Changing rooms
- Reception area
- New bar/lounge and viewing gallery
- 20 station-gym with an area for free weights and fitness
- Studio space for fitness classes
In addition, a grant from the Lawn Tennis Association will provide for improved tennis facilities across the district, to drive up participation.
Building costs are estimated to be £2.6m for a ‘framed fabric’ indoor tennis facility or nearly £4 million for a traditional built facility.
Nick Amis, chairman of Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Association, said: “It has always been my aim to increase the sporting facilities at our club and we have been fortunate to have received support for very many years from NNDC in various forms. This project will enable us to increase our already well established coaching programme for 140+ juniors. We will be able to accommodate all ages and abilities in the new facility, bringing in other local clubs to use the new indoor courts and keeping fitness levels up, which is a key part of the NNDC plan for healthy living.”
Cromer Academy principal Dr Geoff Baker said: “These are fantastic and creative proposals that will make a lasting difference both to our pupils and the wider community.
“Sport is already a really important part of life at Cromer Academy and this investment will give our young people even more opportunities to take part both as individual players and in teams, and develop key social and leadership skills.”
The feasibility study for the replacement of the Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham considered three options: refurbishment of the existing site; a new build and a new build plus a health spa facility. The new build option was by far the best value and will be taken forward if the proposal is approved by councillors.
It is recommending that a new leisure centre with a swimming pool is built on the site, partly funded by the sale of land for a hotel development.
The new build option, without the health spa, would see:
- A £10 million investment in a new leisure and fitness centre
- A 25m six lane pool
- A learner pool
- A splash pad/ fun water
- A 50 station gym health and fitness suite
- One large dividable studio
- A spin studio
- Two treatment rooms
- A café
The study estimates that the new leisure centre will take around two years to complete and be open to the public from October 2020. Splash will continue to be open as usual to customers and members while future investment plans are considered by the authority.
PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO