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Work to begin on £39m hub project to integrate public services

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:30 10 March 2019

Health secretary Matt Hancock MP celebrates the start of work on Mildenhall Hub Picture: MARK WESTLEY

Health secretary Matt Hancock MP celebrates the start of work on Mildenhall Hub Picture: MARK WESTLEY

Mark Westley Photography

Work to build a multi-million pound new public services hub in Mildenhall - which will combine education, health and leisure facilities on one site - will begin this month.

CGI of what the Mildenhall Hub could look like Picture: CONCERTUSCGI of what the Mildenhall Hub could look like Picture: CONCERTUS

Construction on the £39million major national project to provide a bigger and better school, a new larger swimming pool, a health and children’s centre, and a public library will get underway on March 18.

The hub will also create a Citizens Advice centre as well as space for Suffolk police, West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council.

RG Carter was awarded the building contract earlier this year and the company has already carried out enabling works at the site including a sewer diversion.

MORE: Contractor appointed for Mildenhall Hub project

The Mildenhall Hub is already recognised as a significant project in the government’s national One Public Estate Programme.

Archaeology work at the Mildenhall Hub began last year Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILSArchaeology work at the Mildenhall Hub began last year Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “This exciting and ambitious project is about delivering on our promise of better 21st-century facilities shaped for the people that we represent, not just in Mildenhall but the surrounding villages.

“It is about the need for a better school for children and grandchildren to learn in, and a better swimming pool and other leisure facilities integrated with a new health centre.

“It is also about the various partners working even more closely together and making it easier for people to access services rather than having to journey from one location to another.”

Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk and health secretary, said: “I’m delighted that construction of the Mildenhall Hub, recognised by the government as a major national project to bring education, leisure, health and local services together, will soon be underway.

Matt Hancock, health secretary and MP for West Suffolk Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONSMatt Hancock, health secretary and MP for West Suffolk Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

“It represents a new and better way of delivering integrated accessible services for the community and I can’t wait to see the hub open and in use next year.”

MORE: Initial work begins at new £39m Mildenhall Hub

Funding for the project is coming from Forest Heath District Council, the Department for Education, Suffolk County Council, Academy Transformation Trust, Sport England and Suffolk Constabulary.

Susan Byles, principal of Mildenhall College Academy, said: There are few academies in the country that are purposely designed and built to be at the very centre of a community hub.

“The opportunities that this will bring to the students of Mildenhall are both unique and plentiful. Not only will our students learn in a modern, purpose built academy building but they will also have access to other amazing facilities such as a swimming pool and leisure centre.”

The new Mildenhall Hub is set to link education and leisure facilities. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe new Mildenhall Hub is set to link education and leisure facilities. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Edward Thomas, estates director for the Academy Transformation Trust, said: “Mildenhall College Academy has suffered greatly from the poor condition of the buildings and facilities along with operating a split site isolated from the town it serves.

“The development of the hub alongside support and funding from the Department for Education, has provided Academy Transformation Trust with an opportunity to address these issues, bring all education provision to one site whilst providing state of the art facilities for the academy’s pupils and staff.”

Warren Smyth, chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “We are very excited about the leisure provision which will ensure that everyone, regardless of their age, status, background or ability, will have the chance to take part in sport or physical activity, in an environment that is fit for purpose.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “This major development is an excellent example of joint working in Suffolk, something I have always been committed to as police and crime commissioner.

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council Picture: IAN HULLANDJames Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council Picture: IAN HULLAND

“This collective approach not only provides much better value for money for the taxpayer but will benefit all the residents and businesses in the Forest Heath area of our county with improved service delivery through a joined-up approach to public service, which is just what’s required.”

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