Halesworth: Public invited to view plans for sports complex and community centre drawn up for former middle school site

A VISION for the future of a former Suffolk school site has been unveiled to the public.

The Halesworth Campus Project, set up to transform the middle school into a community resource centre and sports complex, was presented to prospective users from the town and surrounding areas last night.

Local residents and sports club members can already book the grass pitches, hard tennis courts and changing rooms at the site, which could eventually include an indoor swimming pool, fitness gym and all-weather sports pitch.

North Suffolk Skills Centre hosted the exhibition of plans for the school – the main building of which is, until the end of September, being used by the county council to redistribute furniture and equipment as part of the reorganisation of schools.

Halesworth Campus Ltd then hopes to hire out the indoor sports hall for football, badminton and other sports, while retaining or improving the educational facilities on the site, including the nationally-recognised skills centre, and developing adult education classes.

The project also includes plans to create small business starter units, conference and training facilities and office accommodation.

Tony Goldson, a county councillor for Halesworth, who has championed the campus project, said: “It’s brilliant that we’ve come this far so quickly. The closure of the middle school was a blow for the town, but people have worked really hard on this project and we’ve had excellent support from both county and district councils.

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“To be able to offer the pitches and courts for public use will really help meet the shortfall in sporting facilities locally. And to have this template for the way forward gives us all something to really aim for.”

It is hoped that major work on the site would start at the beginning of 2013 and that the pool and fitness gym would be open to the public before spring 2014 at the earliest.

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