£300k cash boost for community projects including children’s play area and church revamp

PUBLISHED: 12:44 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:20 09 June 2020

Sudbury St Peter's has been boosted by a £75,000 CIL contribution by Babergh District Council. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury St Peter's has been boosted by a £75,000 CIL contribution by Babergh District Council. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Nearly £300,000 in housing developer contributions has been handed to improvement projects in Babergh.

John Ward, Babergh District Council leader said all three bids were John Ward, Babergh District Council leader said all three bids were "excellent" for their communities. Picture: PAUL NIXON

Babergh District Council’s cabinet on Tuesday approved three bids for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money – financial contributions made by developers to benefit local infrastructure projects.

A sum of £75,000 was approved towards the £2.5million St Peter’s church restoration project in Sudbury, which aims to improve the 14th Century building as a community hub by providing better access, disabled lift access to the mezzanine, new lavatories, and kitchen.

MORE: £2.5m Sudbury St Peter’s renovation plan revealed

The cabinet also gave the green light for £87,891 for a children’s play area and multi-use games area on the School Lane recreation ground in Newton, as well as £136,244 for All Saints Church in Chelsworth, which will help fund new facilities to develop it as a village community venue.

That project includes restoration of the church organ - which is not covered by CIL money - and placing it on an elevated gallery, as well as kitchen and toilet provision. It also aims to encourage more educational opportunities.

The total project is expected to cost just north of £260,000.

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The Newton play area project has also received £20,000 from the parish council’s CIL pot.

Babergh District Council leader John Ward said: “These are three excellent bids and I support them wholeheartedly.”

On St Peter’s, he added: “This is essential for Babergh’s and the town council’s vision for Sudbury.

“The Churches Conservation Trust has put together a very ambitious but exciting plan for the renovation of the church.

“They have been able to put together grants and funding from a number of sources, including ourselves at Babergh, and have now put in a very strong bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the remaining funding.

“This is a project we really do want to see succeed because it is going to be excellent for Sudbury.”

MORE: Plans for future of Sudbury town centre unveiled

The restoration of the Grade I Listed church is one of the key projects for the town an its future growth, which also includes the controversial hotel and restaurant proposal for Belle Vue Park, relocating the Hamilton Road bus station and redesigning Market Hill to boost the economy there.

Babergh District Council published its Vision for Prosperity for the town back in the summer of 2018, as a means of “cementing the town as a major force” in Suffolk’s economy.

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