The opening of a new centre which provides cafe and meeting facilities on a popular town park has been hailed.

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The @therec project, devised by Stowmarket Town Council, is now available for visitors to use.

Youngsters took part in a BMX, skateboard and scooter competition as part of the opening on Saturday.

Gerard Brewster, the town Mayor, said: “We have already received considerable interest in the project from across the county and further afield, because of its use of container architecture to provide a fresh, dynamic and cost effective solution to a community need.

“Therefore we see Stowmarket as a trail-blazer in this field and we hope the success of this project will see it emulated elsewhere.”

Social enterprise group, Realise Futures is running the cafe which opens daily at the Recreation Ground. MENTA, the Suffolk Enterprise Agency, which is managing the project, is working to bring in groups and businesses to use its facilities.

The cafe uses two lorry containers to provide the space for the facilities.

Mr Brewster said: “This is a place where youngsters can come to play, a place where others can come and enjoy open air and tranquillity in the heart of our busy town and where community events can take place.”

The council is expecting its £40,000 outlay on the project to be recovered over the next five years through reduced costs.

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