Town’s leisure centre to close for refurbishment project

Waterlane Leisure Centre, in Lowestoft. Photo: Mick Howes

Waterlane Leisure Centre, in Lowestoft. Photo: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

A popular leisure centre is set to close for a number of months ahead of a refurbishment project this autumn.

Waterlane Leisure Centre, in Lowestoft, will close in October, with work expected to last around three months.

The refurbishment will include replacing the equipment and flooring in the gym, upgrading the lighting and adding new flooring in the sports hall.

Repairs and upgrades to the showers and decoration throughout will also be carried out, while repairs to the teaching pool moveable floor and pool tiles will also be made.

The project follows plans to reopen Bungay Pool and Gym, now called Waveney Valley Leisure Centre, in October after a £3.4 million refurbishment project, which started in September 2019.

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Announcing the project, a spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said: “Members will be kept fully informed during the works and will be encouraged to use other facilities, such as the Waveney Valley Leisure Centre, during the period of closure.”

Both Waterlane and Waveney Valley Leisure Centre will be operated by Places Leisure, who operate centres in the south of the East Suffolk district, on an interim basis following the end of Sentinel Leisure Trust’s operational contract at both centres.

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The council spokesperson said: “Delays to the contractual and procurement process caused by Covid-19 means it has not been possible to appoint a permanent operator yet.

“However, a decision is expected to be taken in December.”

Councillor Letitia Smith, cabinet member for leisure, said: “We have an established relationship with Places Leisure, who have run our leisure centres in the south of the district for a number of years, so getting them in to help with the reopening while we find a permanent operator was the best solution to enable us to not only get Waveney Valley Leisure Centre off to a great start, but ensure a smooth transition.

The project is the latest aimed at providing high-quality, modern leisure centres for local communities around East Suffolk, following work at Deben Leisure Centre, which reopened in June 2018, Leiston Leisure Centre, which reopened in September 2019, and now the Waveney Valley Leisure Centre.

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