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'This is not what we wanted' - disappointment after Fritton Lake swimming centre shut down

PUBLISHED: 09:06 31 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:13 31 March 2019

The Fritton Lake triathlon sprint event on Saturday.; photo by Adrian Judd

The Fritton Lake triathlon sprint event on Saturday.; photo by Adrian Judd

Archant Norfolk 2011

Hundreds of swimmers have expressed their disappointment after a popular Norfolk swimming spot has been shut down.

Fritton Lake. Photo: Somerleyton EstateFritton Lake. Photo: Somerleyton Estate

Fritton Lake Outdoor Swimming announced on Friday (March 29) that it would close for good this weekend.

The centre is in the grounds of Fritton Lake country park, which is part of the 5,000-acre Somerleyton Hall estate.

On its official Facebook page the centre’s managers said it was “with regret” they had to announce the closure.

The post said that the centre had been in negotiations with the estate for three months but that management at Fritton Lake had said no new licence would be issued.

The Fritton Lake triathlon sprint event on Saturday.; photo by Adrian JuddThe Fritton Lake triathlon sprint event on Saturday.; photo by Adrian Judd

On Saturday (March 30) the centre held its final swimming session.

The post announced that all events except for a triathlon in June have been cancelled.

The centre introduced open water swimming at Fritton Lake in 2008 and opened their dedicated lakeside centre in April 2010.

“Over the years we have made many friends and it’s been a delight to welcome everyone at Fritton,” they said.

“This is not what we wanted and is outside our control but I guess all good things must come to an end.”

The post also included a statement from Somerleyton Estate.

It said: “As a result of the current development work at Fritton Lake Resort we have had to make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend some of the activities at Fritton including the Park Run and Open Water swim centre.

“Other activities including archery, tree climbing and SUP and kayaking lessons will continue to be available.

“Over the coming months we will be adding additional facilities for our retreat owners and guests including a new swimming pool, tennis courts and children’s activity play.

“We appreciate your patience as we continue the development works to improve the resort,” it stated.

Fritton Lake outdoor centre had been named in The Guardian as one of the top ten swimming destinations in the world.

Hundreds of people took to social media, with some calling the decision “narrow-minded” and a “shame”.

One woman said: “Fritton Lake has been a life saver for me and the community of friends who swim there.

“I’ve achieved life changing goals and made new friends from swimming here. I am utterly shocked.”

The park run has also been suspended.

Many feel the closure of the swimming centre is another snub to the local community, which last year caused outrage and controversy when it banned picnics and later burned down a wooden fun fort.

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