£12.7m pool opening delayed as Brexit and Covid materials 'lag' hits

An aerial photogrpah of the new state-of-the-art Sheringham Splash leisure centre tbeing built. Pict

The Reef, an indoor pool and leisure centre which is being built in Sheringham.  - Credit: Chris Taylor / Metnor

The multi-million project to replace Sheringham's former Splash pool and leisure centre has been delayed due to problems getting building materials. 

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) had hoped to be able to open the new centre, called The Reef, in August, but construction is now not expected to be finished until September 17.

The logo for The Reef, the leisure centre replacing Sheringham's Splash. 

Artist's impression of the new Sheringham Leisure Centre, called The Reef, which is due to open in September.  - Credit: North Norfolk District Council

A council report said the £12.7 million centre in Weybourne Road, which is being built by Metnor Construction, was facing delays due to pandemic pressures and the importation of goods.  

The report said: "Key materials that are critical to the completion of the pool tank have proven difficult to obtain. This is likely to delay pool filling and testing.

Artist's impression of the new Sheringham Leisure Centre, which is due to open next summer. Photo: S

Artist's impression of the new Sheringham Leisure Centre, called The Reef, which is due to open in August. - Credit: NNDC

"It had been assumed that the UK’s exit from the EU would not impact upon this project and that the project had largely escaped the direct impacts of the pandemic, although it seems the lag in materials supply is hitting this project at a critical time."


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Sarah Bütikofer, NNDC leader, said she was nonetheless pleased with the progress of the new centre.

Mrs Bütikofer said: "It's going really well. It's really just a question of getting materials, and I think anyone who's done a building project knows there can be supply issues."

Liberal Democrat council leader Sarah Bütikofer. Picture: North Norfolk District Council

North Norfolk District Council leader Sarah Bütikofer.  - Credit: North Norfolk District Council

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"We're really excited about the opening of the Reef. It will be a fantastic facility and it will have so much to offer for a diverse range of people when it does open."

Mrs Bütikofer said the council was now in the process of securing a special guest to open the centre. 

The Reef will include a six-lane, 25m main pool, a 13m x 8m learner pool with moveable floor, a splash pad with water play features and two community rooms.

An aerial photogrpah of the new state-of-the-art Sheringham Splash leisure centre tbeing built. Pict

The Reef, an indoor pool and leisure centre which is being built in Sheringham.  - Credit: Chris Taylor / Metnor

The original Splash, which included an unconventional wave machine, beach-like shallow end and slides, was opened by Princess Diana in 1988.

A time capsule - filled with items such as a local newspaper, tourist map and receipt of everyday items - will be buried in the grounds.

The name for the new centre is said to be a homage to north Norfolk’s iconic coastline, which includes a chalk reef 20 miles long and six miles wide - the largest of its kind in Europe.

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