Sentinel Leisure ceases trading - which sites does it run?
- Credit: Mick Howes
A number of leisure and fitness sites around Waveney and Great Yarmouth have closed following the operators decision to cease trading.
Sentinel Leisure Trust (SLT) closed a number of its sites over the weekend following the decision.
At the time of its closure, the group's largest centre was at Nirvana Health and Fitness Centre in Pakefield, housing a large fitness suite, swimming pool and group exercise rooms.
It also hosted a number of other services and businesses, including sports massage, beauty therapy, scuba diving sessions and community education courses.
In Oulton Broad, SLT operated the Broadland Leisure Club, which includes a gym, pool and sauna.
A key football training facility used by Lowestoft Town Football Club's Centre of Excellence and Waveney FC, Barnard's Soccer Centre features a 3G floodlit pitch, classroom and changing facilities.
In Great Yarmouth, SLT has operated Fitness 2000 since 2020, with personal training and group fitness classes available until the sudden closure.
SLT was also responsible for the leisure facilities at Caldecott Hall, in Bradwell.
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The 400-acre country estate includes an 18 hole golf course, clubhouse, gym, spa and beauty treatment rooms.
The hall is also available for event bookings, including weddings and birthday parties.
On the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate, the trust operated Adventure Island, a large indoor soft play venue for children aged up to 11.
Next door to the site on Pinbush Road, SLT was in the process of converting Raw Soccer into Raw Fitness as a site specifically for group fitness classes.
The trust has also been involved in a number of charitable schemes over the years, including Lowestoft's Christmas Day Swim, which raises money for local organisations or charities.
Since taking over organisation of the swim, more than 2,000 people have taken part in the annual event, which has raised more than £60,000.
The swim has been cancelled two years running due to rising Coronvirus cases at the time.
It has also worked with the Brian Gallagher Football Fund, which was set up to honour the founder of Waveney Youth FC following his death in 2013.
The fund promotes community participation within football and ensures Mr Gallagher's legacy continues.
SLT is also involved in the operation of the Changing Lives scheme, which offers bespoke packages to people with serious health and wellbeing risks, and the Making Memories scheme, which supports people and their families affected by terminal illnesses or serious mental or physical disabilities.
Alongside East Coast College, they have also been delivering the Football Industry College, which currently has 19 students in Lowestoft and 11 in Norwich.
In recent years, SLT has been hit by the loss of key facilities from its portfolio.
In January 2021, East Suffolk Council confirmed operator Everyone Active would take over the day-to-day running of the Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft, and the recently refurbished Waveney Valley Leisure Centre in Bungay.
SLT's contract to run both sites was not renewed following its conclusion in October 2020.
Then, 12 months later in October 2021, the trust confirmed it would no longer be operating Bradwell's Phoenix Pool and Gym.
It followed their decision not to be involved with Great Yarmouth's Marina Centre when it opens its doors later this year following a £26m revamp.
Both sites are owned by Great Yarmouth District Council.
In an email to members at the time of the announcement, an SLT spokesperson said: "Unfortunately as part of the over-arching Marina Leisure Centre project, the council have decided to procure a new operational contract, which Sentinel Leisure Trust has chosen not to bid for."
Until its closure in December 2018, SLT also operated the Dip Farm Pitch and Putt golf course on Corton Road in Lowestoft.
At the time of the closure, the course's owners, Waveney District Council, said the closure had been agreed with themselves and SLT following declining use, "despite considerable investment".