By Matt Hunter
Monday, January 14, 2013
THE Government has given the final green light to a £5.5million youth centre which is due to open in January 2014.
The Mix, in Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, is now over its final hurdle and work to demolish the Victorian property at the front of the centre can now begin.
Building work at the project started in 2011 and was expected to be completed by March this year.
But the scheme was dealt a blow last year when the property was discovered to be in a serious state of disrepair.
Suffolk County Council, who is responsible for the project, wanted to demolish the building as they argued it would have been too expensive to carry out the repairs.
Graham Newman, the council’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “There is strong local support in Stowmarket for this scheme and I am delighted that we are now well on our way to completing this landmark facility for young people.
“It has always been a youth-led project and pretty well unique in Suffolk. Completing the building’s facade will enable us to reinforce the purpose of the premises in a sympathetic and appropriate design, as well as maximising the space available within the building.”
Consent to demolish the property had to come from the Government as the building was in a conservation area.
John Shaw, chair of The Mix Trust said: “We are sorry that young people will have to wait another year before The Mix is fully up and running, but we are sure it will be worth the wait. The Mix is a fantastic facility that the whole community will be proud of when it is finally completed.”
Before the plans were presented to the Secretary of State, they were recommended for approval by the county council, district council and town council.
While the building of The Mix is being completed, The Mix Trust, which will be taking on the management of the facility from Suffolk County Council, has been running activities for youngsters in Stowmarket.