First look inside north Norfolk's new £12.7m leisure centre
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
One of the first sights greeting a visitor to north Norfolk's new £12.7m leisure centre is the sunlight sparkling on the water of the swimming pool.
Staff at The Reef in Sheringham have been making last-minute preparations before the facility opens its gym, studios and pool on November 30.
Stuart Jardine, contract manager with Everyone Active, the company which will operate the centre, said: "We just can't wait to get it open now and to have people in here."
The facility, which replaces the Splash complex that was previously in the town, has been funded by an £11m investment from North Norfolk District Council and a £1m grant from Sport England.
It will feature a six-lane, 25m main pool, built to Sport England standards, and will support a range of aquatic activities from competitive swimming events to inflatable play sessions for children.
The centre is located on the Weybourne Road, opposite the golf course, and is impossible to miss.
This visibility, according to Rob Young, assistant director for sustainable growth at NNDC, was a "big thing" when considering designs for the centre.
"This way it will seem more accessible to people," he said.
And accessibility is key.
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Virginia Gay, NNDC's portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture, said it was important the centre catered for as many people as possible.
She noted the pool pod which allows people with less mobility to be lowered into the water.
She also said the new centre was "very different" from the old Splash complex.
"The facilities are as nice as a private club but it isn't a private club, it's for everybody," she said.
"People walk the doors and seem to be delighted. There is a feeling of openness and welcoming."
Upstairs, the gym and dance studio overlook the swimming pool, while the pool itself has large windows looking out over Weybourne Road at the green lawns of Sheringham golf course.
Both instructor-led and virtual classes will be held dance studio as well as in the exercise bike room.
Mr Young said: "I think people are going to come and give it a go and they will be inspired."
Opening hours will be 7am to 9pm on weekdays and 8am to 4pm at the weekend.