Published: April 8, 2009
Exclusive: £330,000 expansion for Burnham's Swim and Sports Academy

Burnham-On-Sea's Swim and Sports Academy is to get a £330,000 expansion, its owners have revealed this week - exactly one year to the day since the pool was saved from closure.

Meetings have already been held with Sedgemoor District Council about the plans to create a two-storey extension at the front of the Berrow Road property and a formal planning application is set to be submitted shortly.

The bosses of the Burnham Swim & Sports Academy, Mark Cox-Conklin and Sara Cox-Conklin (pictured), this week told about their exciting plans exactly one year to the day since the swimming pool was saved from closure.

"The new extension will create a modern, landmark building for Burnham," said Mark. "On the ground floor we'll have a cardio studio which will include new fitness equipment and allow us to hold regular classes."

"There will also be new changing rooms, two physio rooms for use by NHS referrals and physiotherapists, and a new reception and offices."

"The centrepiece of the ground floor will be a new 15 x 30ft therapy pool which will have water heated to 90 degrees."

He added: "The first floor of the new building will feature a high-end spa with hot rock therapy treatments and there will also be a quiet room with relaxation and meditation facilities."

The total cost of the proposed extension - which is subject to planning approval - will be around £250,000.

The couple are also planning to spend a further £40,000 on re-tiling the main swimming pool later this year following recent problems with the base of the pool.

And there will also be a redesign of the Academy's shop, plus further modernisation of the changing rooms, which will cost a further £40,000.

Mark and Sara say the modernisation demonstrates their continuing commitment to the property.

"We're actually meeting our expectations, despite the recession," Mark told

"We have lots of customers who are regularly visiting us and are employing 21 people. Now is the right time to take forward the academy to its phase two."

Sara and Mark took over the property's lease from Sedgemoor District Council a year ago following months of uncertainty about the building's future. The academy officially opened its doors in July 2008 and has since attracted thousands of visitors. The expansion plans were first reported by last autumn.


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