Leisure centre adds to rejuvenation of Norwich Riverside area

New life continues to be blown into Norwich's Riverside area after its leisure centre on Wherry Road was praised by national quality assessors.

The status follows Riverside Leisure Centre's recent assessment by Quest, the UK Quality Scheme for Sport and Leisure, and is the latest boost for the area.

The 26-lane Hollywood Bowl bowling alley was re-opened in December after a three year absence that also saw the site's Lava/Ignite nightclub - that shares the same building as the bowling alley - closed because of structural problems.

With the nightclub also set to re-open as Project later this month the strong grading for Riverside Leisure Centre has added extra impetus to Riverside's recovery.

The fitness and swimming centre, which is managed by Leisure Connection on behalf of Norwich City Council, scored 77pc in the December assessment, which took a detailed look at health and safety management, cleanliness, customer relations and the facilities.

Phil Wright, contract manager for Riverside Leisure Centre, said: 'The Quest award is a fantastic achievement for the Riverside team and I am delighted with the 77pc score we achieved. The result is a well deserved reward for the team's hard work, dedication and professionalism.

'It was basically a quality assessment over the course of two days and they came on site to look at management systems, training and to speak to staff. So it was quite a detailed audit, every section was assessed and scored accordingly.

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'Our aim was always to see a progression and a 5pc increase is above average so we were very pleased with that.'

Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens' Forum, was also delighted to see another boost for the city's Riverside area after a couple of difficult years. He said: 'I am very pleased to see the Riverside area getting back on track, everyone has breathed a sigh of relief.

'The whole point of having an entertainment area is that there is a whole range of entertainment. When that isn't on offer then people suffer because they like to go from bar to restaurant to club or from something like bowling or fitness at the gym to one of the other things.

'When any one of that sequence is broken it affects the whole area.'

Have you got a story about improvements in your local area? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or on email at david.freezer@archant.co.uk