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Look around Wymondham Leisure Centre as spring deadline nears

PUBLISHED: 15:25 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:50 20 January 2016

Chris Lowe, project manager at Kier, Rob Adams, Wymondham Leisure Centre manager, and David Bills, chairman of South Norfolk Council, in what will be the new gym of the leisure centre. Picture: South Norfolk Council

Chris Lowe, project manager at Kier, Rob Adams, Wymondham Leisure Centre manager, and David Bills, chairman of South Norfolk Council, in what will be the new gym of the leisure centre. Picture: South Norfolk Council

Archant

The sauna is in and lockers are up - but there is still plenty to be done.

What will be the new enrance, café and gym at Wymondham Leisure Centre. The front will be a glass entrance. Picture: South Norfolk Council What will be the new enrance, café and gym at Wymondham Leisure Centre. The front will be a glass entrance. Picture: South Norfolk Council

With a few months until the renovated Wymondham Leisure Centre reopens - and one year after the £3.5m scheme was announced - the EDP took the chance to have a look at the ongoing work.

While the swimming pool, sports hall and upgraded wet changing rooms were back in business in October, the new two-storey gym - which will rise from 38 machines to between 80 and 100 - and café at the front of the centre are yet to be finished.

But project bosses are confident they will meet their deadline in spring, with the spa area - complete with dry changing rooms, a steam room, sauna and salt and ice treatment areas - well underway,

A soft play zone for young children will also be included and three exercise rooms will be converted upstairs.

The new underwater cameras at Wymondham Leisure Centre. Picture: South Norfolk Council The new underwater cameras at Wymondham Leisure Centre. Picture: South Norfolk Council

David Bills, chairman of South Norfolk Council, who are behind the scheme, said the centre would be a “first class fitness and community hub”.

“The health and wellbeing of our residents is a priority for the council and this is a really exciting time as we look forward to welcoming new customers and all of our members back to Wymondham Leisure Centre,” he said.

Aspects of the layout have come under fire from some users concerned they will have to change and walk across the centre when moving between the pool and spa, which are in different areas.

But the council said the latter was intended to be a “new, separate facility”.

The new system of hiring lockers has been criticised, with users asked to pay a refundable £5 deposit and a £1 non-refundable hiring fee.

It has been branded unrealistic by families who say the costs are not affordable, even with a chunk refunded, and that it means swimming now costs £1 more.

When asked about the policy, the council said: “The council’s investment in the centre has included new changing facilities, showers and toilets.

“The new lockers are industry standard and are secured using a padlock. Customers are welcome to bring their own combination or key padlocks, they can buy padlocks from our reception or hire one. Hire cost is £1 with a £5 returnable deposit.”

“We had intended to leave the jacuzzi in the pool area but health and safety inspectors condemned the unit and it had to be removed,” a spokesperson said.

Underwater cameras have also been installed at the swimming pool - which underwent a deep clean and some minor tweaks - allowing lifeguards to see every inch of the pool in case of emergency.

The number of parking spaces at the facility will not change, with the gym the only extension to the building.

The project, which will see 17 jobs created and has been carried out by Kier, began in June and comes in tandem with work at the council’s Diss and Long Stratton centres.

What do you think of the new leisure centre? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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