Estate continues call for community centre

Councillor Sarah Stamp

Councillor Sarah Stamp - Credit: Archant

An estate in Bury St Edmunds is continuing to push ahead for its own community centre.

Currently, community groups on the Horringer Court estate have access to a room at Glastonbury Court care home and can also use the middle school.

But the estate – the only one in the town not to have a community centre – is hoping to have its own facility, which would be a hub for activities and would provide more security for the groups.

Last week Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee met with representatives of the Horringer Court Community Church (HCCC), the Horringer Court Residents’ Association and others, including councillor Sarah Stamp.

The private meeting came about after Andy Conroy, one of the elders of HCCC and chairman of the trustees, emailed in a question to BBC Radio Suffolk for Mr Bee about what the county council was going to do to compensate the community for the loss of their current facility at the care home.

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There are plans for a new bespoke 80-bed care home and a well-being centre, which would be run by Care UK, at the Glastonbury Road site. And while Care UK has said a room at the care home could be made available “by prior arrangement to organised groups,” as well as the wellbeing centre, there is concern these rooms would be too small for what is needed.

Mrs Stamp described the meeting with Mr Bee as “very positive” and, while the county council does not have money for a new community centre, it would offer support.

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She said: “The council acknowledges they do need some community provision on the estate and Mark made quite a public commitment to work with the community, and by that I mean all interested parties – the school, church, residents’ association, to try and move forward with the project as a whole.”

Mrs Stamp has agreed to head up a focus group to investigate funding streams, and is due to meet with interested parties.

While there is no firm location in mind yet, she said the Horringer Court Middle School site was “definitely a possibility”.

Mr Conroy said: “Funds without a site are no use and a site without funds are no use, but we have got to push forward on all avenues and see what we can do.”

He said the church had funds of about £80,000 which could possibly go towards building a community centre.

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