People in Fakenham could be diving into a new swimming pool in just over three years, it is hoped. 

Whoops of delight greeted the news that North Norfolk District Council would get £9.9m towards the long-awaited project. 

Fakenham & Wells Times: Mayor and chair at Fakenham Town Council, Angela GlynnMayor and chair at Fakenham Town Council, Angela Glynn (Image: Archant)

Angela Glynn, town mayor, said the facility would mark a fresh chapter for the town.

Mrs Glynn said: “It is a fantastic early Christmas present to Fakenham and the surrounding villages.

"We can look forward to creating an almost ideal sports and recreational complex combining the pool, indoor and outdoor sports provision."

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the grant as part of this month's autumn statement. 

The project will see Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre in Trap Lane expanded onto the neighbouring recreation ground.

This new space will house a 25-metre swimming pool and a multi-use games area.

It brings an end to a long campaign for the town, which used to have two indoor pools. One was at the high school - which closed in 2014 - and the other was at the junior school.

Two previous bids to pay for the project through the government's community renewal and levelling-up funded over the past few years were rejected.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre is to get £9.9m towards a new swimming poolFakenham Sports and Fitness Centre is to get £9.9m towards a new swimming pool (Image: Everyone Active)

Richard Crook has campaigned for the town to either keep a pool or see one return, including a lido bid in 2021.

Mr Crook said he was delighted with the news.

He said: "I know so many of us have campaigned for so many years for what is a much-needed facility.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Richard Crook, chair of Active FakenhamRichard Crook, chair of Active Fakenham (Image: Archant)

“It's great for us all and should benefit the town and its residents. I look forward to seeing the detailed plans.”

The new pool is expected to be built by March 2026.