People queue up on new leisure centre's first day

Staff welcome the first members of the public to use The Reef leisure centre in Sheringham. 

Staff welcome the first members of the public to use The Reef leisure centre in Sheringham. - Credit: NNDC

People braved a cold and rainy morning to stand in a queue so they could be among the first to try the pool and gym at north Norfolk's newest leisure centre.

The Reef in Weybourne Road, Sheringham, opened its doors at 7am on Tuesday in a 'soft launch' ahead of a grand opening planned for the new year. 

At the opening of The Reef were, from left, Emily Capps, Colin Brown, Karl Read, Virginia Gay and Stephen Mews.

At the opening of The Reef were, from left, Emily Capps, Colin Brown, Karl Read, Virginia Gay and Stephen Mews. - Credit: Supplied by NNDC

Rob Young, assistant director for sustainable growth at North Norfolk District Council.

The new six-lane, 25m swimming pool at The Reef in Sheringham. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Virginia Gay, North Norfolk District Council's leisure, wellbeing and culture portfolio holder, said it was a "great relief" to see the £12.7m centre - the successor to Splash - finally opened. 

She said: "Lots of people were here just after 6.30am, they were queuing up to come in and they’d all come to go to the gym and the pool.

The Reef in Sheringham

Stuart Jardine, contract manager for Everyone Active; Virginia Gay, NNDC portfolio holder for health and wellbeing; and Rob Young, NNDC's assistant director for sustainable growth. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

"It’s a great relief to have it open and we always knew that it was coming along – but now to see people actually coming in and see people upstairs in the gym and people swimming here this morning has been brilliant."

The Reef includes a 25m main pool, 13m learner pool and 60-station gym with a dance and fitness studio. The pool has a 'Poolpod' so wheelchair users can easily get in and out, and the centre also has accessible, Changing Places bathrooms. 

Stuart Jardine, contract manager for Everyone Active outside the Reef in Sheringahm.

Stuart Jardine, contract manager for Everyone Active outside the Reef in Sheringahm. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The centre is being managed by Everyone's Active, which also runs north Norfolk's district council-owned sports and leisure centres in Fakenham and North Walsham. 

Stuart Jardine, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: "We were really proud to welcome the community to this fantastic new facility.

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“Seeing customers queuing up before 7am was a great feeling for all our colleagues. People couldn’t wait to get in and that is a good indicator of the interest and enthusiasm there is towards The Reef.

“The feedback we had from customers was incredibly positive, not just in terms of the look and feel of the centre, but also the depth of activities on offer.

“Our first day open was a huge success and colleagues are really looking forward to serving the public at The Reef for many years to come.”

The Reef is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm at weekends.