'Exciting moment for Framlingham' - Work starts on new £1.2m project
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
An 11-month, £1.2million building project to replace Framlingham's St Michael's Rooms with a new community building has started.
To mark the beginning of construction on the Castle Community Rooms, a ‘sod turning’ event was held on the site on Tuesday January 11, attended by representatives from Framlingham Parochial Church Council, Framlingham Town Council and East Suffolk Council.
Reverend Chris Davey, of St Michael's Church, said: "It's incredible, it's been quite a long journey to get here. It's just wonderful to know that within the next couple of weeks that builders will be on site and by the end of the year we will have a new community facility.
"It's going to bring a modern affordable, accessible, environmentally sensitive building which will just give us so much more than the building we have now, which is 130 years old and very much feeling its age."
The building, which will be demolished, can be recognised as the HQ of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club in the BBC series 'The Detectorists'.
Adrian Morgan is a member of the project team and the fundraising team, and his involvement with the hall dates back over 40 years.
"It's now come to the point where it's not economic anymore, it's an old building it's not eco-friendly," he said.
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"We've already had inquiries about hiring the new hall, we had to say it won't be ready just yet but look to this space in October, if all goes according to plan.
"It's one of the most exciting things that has happened here and it's going to be a real legacy for everyone here in Framlingham."
The new hall's design has taken many aspects into consideration, such as the acoustics for singing groups, a sprung floor for dancing groups and audio visual facilities for film clubs.
Framlingham ward county councillor Maurice Cook said he was "delighted" the project is off the ground at last.
"We've broken ground now, that's fantastic, and I think that in itself will create an impetus for the community to get behind the project," he said.
"We are actually blessed in East Suffolk with a number of marvellous facilities in the surrounding villages and very little in the town itself.
"So this is really going to bring the community together, it's couldn't be in a better location than here, right in the heart of the community."