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Multi-million pound revamp to local leisure facilities approved

A multi-million pound overhaul of leisure facilities in Mid Suffolk has been given the go ahead.

The plans, approved by Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet on Monday, propose a £2.2million revamp of Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket, as well as cash from the existing budgets to do up Stradbroke Pool and Fitness.

According to the cabinet report, equipment from Stowmarket would be given to Stradbroke, and fresh kit installed at the centre in Gainsborough Road.

While firm details are yet to be published, it is understood to be part of a collaboration with Everyone Active for a new lease from October 2020 once its existing agreement ends.

The seven figure sum, which has come from the council’s growth and efficiency fund, was unanimously approved.

Julie Flatman, cabinet member for communities and housing, said: “Developing our sports and leisure infrastructure in Mid Suffolk is an exciting and crucial step to improve fitness provision in a sustainable way for our residents.

“This funding to extend and refurbish our key leisure centre, will help us to support our residents to remain active and healthy over coming years, and achieve the aims set out in our leisure, sport and physical activity strategy.”

She added that health and wellbeing was “key to improving people’s quality of life” and it was the goal of the council to help all who  live and work in the district to lead more active lives.

The new deal,  expected to launch from October with Everyone Active, would be for a 15-year contract to manage leisure facilities on behalf of the authority.

A public consultation and formal planning process will get underway now that the cash has been agreed.

According to the council, it is already engaged in talks with Suffolk County Council and Stowmarket High School over shared land and school activities at the site.

Separate conversations are also ongoing with the Suffolk Football Association for a new football facility, understood to include a new 3G football pitch.

Green councillor Rachel Eburne said there was a need in Stowmarket for better sports facilities across the board, following the cabinet’s approval of a 50 year lease for the football club.

 

By Jason Noble, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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