Existing steel frame could be used in new public sector hub in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: West Suffolk Council
An “innovative” project to bring public services together has been awarded a cash boost of £100,000.
The multi-million Western Way development in Bury St Edmunds would integrate new leisure facilities, health, education and other public services with the commercial sector on one site, and may re-use the existing steel frame of the depot in Olding Road.
It is part of a long-term vision for the area, including a new leisure centre and swimming pool, and could potentially open within the next five years.
READ MORE: Multi-million pound development in Bury St Edmunds moves a step closerThe aim is to transform how services work and create better outcomes for residents while reducing the cost to the public purse and freeing up other assets in the area.
Members of the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Group agreed the £100,000 Transformation Challenge Award Funding at their meeting last month and the cash will be used on developing the detailed plans as to how the various services and public bodies will work together and use the building.
Councillor John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: "We welcome this funding and support. This is a very ambitious ground-breaking opportunity to deliver services in a much more joined-up way while regenerating this area of Bury St Edmunds to improve the health, education and prosperity of our residents.
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"If we can put education, health, leisure and other services together they will achieve more than the sum of their parts for the people we serve.
"Partners are part of these plans and this funding is confirmation of their willingness to progress and ensure the best way forward to share facilities, services and expertise for the good of our communities.
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"I would like to thank the many organisations involved in working so hard to bring this exciting project forward."
READ MORE: Public to see plans for Western Way public services hub within weeksThe new site would create opportunities for multiple other partners to join the councils and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) there in the first or later phases.
To date, work on exploring the business case has involved central Government, all parts of the NHS, the police, Abbeycroft Leisure, Sport England, West Suffolk College, Citizens Advice and several other partners under the auspices of the Government's One Public Estate Programme.
The outline case also suggests the steel frame of the Olding Road depot is re-used for the new public service building, saving money and resources as well as creating a flexible space that can be built in a phased way and will link to existing services at the council offices, West Suffolk House.
Suffolk County Councillor Matthew Hicks, chair of the Suffolk Public Sectors Leaders Group, said: "This is an innovative and nationally-important project that will bring real dividends to our communities and businesses that will be seen in their everyday lives.
"Suffolk residents just want to see joined up services delivered well.
"This work will help achieve that and make sure that we, as public services, are not only working together to achieve the best outcomes we can but also including the private sector as well."