Brandon: “One stop shop” centre in Market Hill nears completion

Brandon centre project is nearing completion. The pre-school is already up and running.

Brandon centre project is nearing completion. The pre-school is already up and running. - Credit: Archant

Facilities at the old school building in Market Hill - which has undergone a £1million refurbishment - will include a library, children’s centre, pre-school, Forest Heath District Council and police access points.

The Keystone Development Trust charity will run the centre and also aims to have a number of projects there, such as a club for people out of work.

Tony Simmons, who is a Forest Heath District councillor for Brandon West and a town councillor, said the centre was a “brilliant facility for the people of Brandon”.

He added it brought an old building which was in danger of falling into disrepair back into good use.

“It’s really quite an impressive site. It will be very good for the people. There will be increased car parking spaces which is always appreciated and the library and the children’s centre are all together in a good, new, really upgraded interior.”

Suffolk County Councillor Lisa Chambers said after working with the community and town and district council’s on making the Market Square more of a civic space, looking at the other services in Brandon had been the next step.

She said: “What the building will actually be able to do is hopefully make accessing services much easier for the people of Brandon. It really is a one stop shop.”

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She said money would be saved because some of the buildings were the services had been held would be released, but added “it’s not just about money”. “We are saying it’s about how we are getting organisations to work much closely together.”

She added no decisions had been made on the old library site in Bury Road.

Neil Stott, chief executive of the Keystone Development Trust, said the charity was “very excited” to be involved. “There will hopefully be space for meetings, activities, when the main services are not using these spaces [for example in the evenings].”

He added the playgroup was already up and running, and compared to where it was “it’s absolutely fantastic”.

There will also be toilet provision at the centre for members of the public during opening hours.

Mr Stott said the whole building would be open in the summer.

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