Multi-million pound investment in sport for North Norfolk

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
  • Toilets
  • 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.


Half-term fun outside and in

A host of children’s activities will be on offer at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham community sports centres over the forthcoming May half-term.

The sessions offer youngsters aged between four and 12 the chance to take part in football fun days, shooting, skating and street-dancing, as well as summer sports days and multi-sports events.

The events will take place between Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 2, at the North Norfolk District Council-managed centres.

As well as these activities, there are countryside events taking place in Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, North Walsham. The fun on offer includes shelter-building, a look at amphibians, reptiles and lizards and the chance to build and launch a water rocket.

All-day activities are priced at £10 while shorter sessions are priced between £2 and £3.50. To make things easier for parents, there is the added option of arranging early drop-offs and late pick-ups for just £2 at some of the events.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure, health and wellbeing, said: “These sessions offer great fun for children while keeping them busy and healthy.”

To download a brochure with more details, visit

To book the sports-centre events, visit Booking is not required for the countryside events at Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For further details of these activities, email or call 07920 576634.

Half-term fun to help parents

The regular school holiday programme of sporting activities for children run by North Norfolk District Council has been given a fresh look for February half term.

A new focus on full days of activities running from 9.30am-3pm has been adopted after feedback from parents, instead of a mix of mainly shorter sessions and an occasional full day.

The same feedback has also led to the sports teams offering early drop off and late pick up, meaning the day can be extended to 8am to 4.30pm.

The full days are priced at £10, plus £2 for each of the extended 90 minutes at either end of the day.

Full days will be held at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham community sports centres, with one half day at Stalham. Activities include ball games, football fun day, multisports and street dance. The days will serve different age groups ranging from four to 12 years old.

Full details of locations, dates, times and costs can be found at
Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure, health and wellbeing, said: “We have listened to the views of both parents and young people, and used that information to change what we offer in our sports centres during half term and holidays.

“There was a clear desire for longer sessions to help busy families and we’re delighted to be able to tie that in with offering healthy, active fun at a very reasonable cost.

“All sessions are led by qualified and dedicated staff who know how to make sure young people of various ages have lots of active fun.”

Diverse elementary gym class


North Walsham’s young sports stars recognised at ceremony

North Walsham’s young sports stars have been recognised at a ceremony at the town’s Atrium, as North Walsham High School’s annual sports presentation evening acknowledged the school’s high achievers of 2016.

Lauren Hemp and Luke Everson shared the annual Sports Personality of the Year Award, given to the outstanding sports contributor in the year group which left in the summer.

Meanwhile the prestigious Graeme Wilton Award for Sporting Excellence went to Year 11 student Ethan Davies.  Katie Lince received a Service to PE award, with Mariusz Liszynski receiving an Outstanding Endeavour Award.

Three school sports teams were also recognised: the U14 and U16 Rounders teams, which both won their respective North Norfolk Leagues, and the U16 Girls Football team, which was runner-up in the County Cup.

The prizes were handed out by former NWHS student Josh Roper, who has gone on to become a Norfolk FA Ambassador, a participant in the FA’s Football Futures programme, and a recipient of an FA Outstanding Contribution to Football award.

Josh told students that there was no reason why they couldn’t live their dream in sport, telling them: “Sport is unique. The impact that it has on people is different from anything else. It is not just being the best sports person. It is about developing so many different skills, such as leadership, communication, and the ability to change lives.

“My biggest advice would be to take any opportunity that comes your way, even if it is just voluntary; you never know just how far picking up cones could take you – for me it was to Chicago!”

School head of PE Paul Bradshaw said: “These awards are a chance to recognise publicly the many sporting achievements of our students during the past 12 months.  Sport remains very strong at the school, and it is important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our students.

“We have seen students competing at the very highest level during the year, including at international level.  But these awards are about recognising excellence at every level in both individual and team sports.

“Sport can play such an important role for young people, not just in encouraging physical fitness and healthy living, but also in fostering a sense of teamwork, challenge and achievement which will benefit them way beyond the sports field and into their future lives.”


Picture Attached: Joint winners of the NWHS Sports Personality of the Year Award Luke Everson (left) and Lauren Hemp, with guest speaker and former NWHS student Josh Roper (centre) (photo: Andy Newman)

Joint winners of the NWHS Sports Personality of the Year Award Luke Everson (left) and Lauren Hemp, with guest speaker and former NWHS student Josh Roper (centre).











North Norfolk District Council holds Disability Sports Day

North Norfolk District Councils Sports Clubs and Hubs Project are holding a Disability Sports Day for adults on Wednesday, October 26 at Holt Community Hub.

All the activities are free and there will be different sports for everyone to try.

Cllr Becky Palmer Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We hope this day will be fun and encourage more people with disabilities to get active and participate in sports.

“This year’s Paralympics has shown disability is no impediment to success and it’s vital everyone can have the opportunity to get the benefits that come from being active. Whether you want to win Gold or just have a go, sport is good for both mind and body.”

The activities available on the day will include Boccia – this is just like boules and can be played from a chair, a wheelchair or standing; indoor golf; and New Age Kurling – this is just like curling but on wheels.

The Disability Sports Day will run from 10am-2pm and is open to over-18s with a disability.

If you would like to come along or you need more information please contact 01263 516305 or email

Join Team GB at parkruns

The Olympics may be over but now it’s your chance to give it your all and be a part of Team GB.

This Saturday (27 August) I Am Team GB is hosting the nation’s biggest ever sports day with sporting events taking place in every corner of the country.

Broadland District Council is inviting everyone to get involved by attending one of the three free parkruns which take place in the district every Saturday at 9am in Blickling, Brundall and Catton. Everyone is welcome to attend, from beginner to Olympian.

On-the-spot prizes of I Am Team GB goodies will be presented to lucky participants at Catton parkrun, Catton Park, Oak Lane, where runners will be joined by volunteer Paul Evans, who competed in the Olympic 10,000m finals in Barcelona and Atlanta. At Blickling parkrun, Blickling Park, runners are invited to attend in red, white and blue or fancy dress to celebrate the day and Countryside Park, Postwick Lane in Brundall will be decorated for the occasion.

ITV will be shutting down all seven of their channels from 9.30-10.30am on Saturday to encourage viewers to go outside and join in with the I Am Team GB day.

“We’ve all enjoyed watching the Olympics and getting behind Team GB as they represented their country and I’m now counting down the days until the Paralympics begin. I can’t think of a better way to carry on the Olympic spirit than getting involved with the I Am Team GB day,” said Claudette Bannock, member champion for sport at Broadland District Council. “The council supports sport all year round from offering grants to local sportspeople to the Broadly Active scheme which aims to get us all fit and healthy.”

Get involved with the day by tweeting your sporting selfies with #IAmTeamGB.

New runners at the parkrun are asked to register online, print and bring along their unique barcode in order to get a recorded time for the run. Visit to register and to find your nearest parkrun.

To find a new sports clubs or activity in your area, visit

park run

£50,000 award for North Walsham gym club

North Walsham Gymnastics Club is to get £50,965 to help meet local demand for its classes.

The popular gymnastics club teaches 150 young people and has more than 200 on its waiting list. The award means the club will be able to rent a new larger space to host its classes allowing 300 new members to join.

The club was among 14 community sports projects in the East of England which today shared more than £900,000 of Sport England cash to help breathe new life into sports facilities. The National Lottery funding will help to upgrade courts, club houses and changing rooms across the region and help get more people active.

Today’s announcement marks the last tranche of funding for the Inspired Facilities programme, which will shortly be replaced with a new programme called the Community Asset Fund.  The new fund will continue to support local sports projects by helping communities take ownership of local assets from local authorities or elsewhere.

Inspired Facilities was designed to make it easier for local community and volunteer organisations, including sports clubs, to improve and refurbish sports facilities or to transform non-sporting venues into modern grassroots sport facilities.  Since 2011, the fund has invested £122 million in 2,215 projects across the country.

MEDALLISTS: Olivia Shingles, Tilly Owen and Tia Tolbart.

RECENT MEDALLISTS: Olivia Shingles, Tilly Owen and Tia Tolbart from the club.