Multimillion pound makeover plans launched in town

The Halesworth Rising group has organised a special community projects fair for people to find out m

The Halesworth Rising group has organised a special community projects fair for people to find out more about projects designed to improve healthcare,sports, leisure and heritage facilities in the town. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Exciting times lie ahead for a north Suffolk town.

That was the reaction of community leaders and visitors as multi-million pound plans to improve healthcare, sports, leisure and heritage facilities in Halesworth were showcased during a community projects fair on Saturday.

The ambitious plans went on display to hundreds of people from across Waveney as the successful public exhibition was held at the Rifle Hall.

Organised by the Halesworth Rising group, the “exciting” £15 million improvement projects came under the spotlight with organisations taking part in the proposed developments showcasing their aspirations.

Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund highlighted plans for a £714,000 information and support centre.

Halesworth Health showcased its aim for a purpose-built 64-bed health and care facility on land next to the surgery and hospital, with a ‘housing with extra care’ scheme also planned as both projects together are worth about £8m.

With the overall aim of making Halesworth a “dementia friendly community,” Halesworth Dementia Carers Fund is organising training programmes to raise awareness of dementia.

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Halesworth Campus is behind a £4m plan to develop sports and leisure facilities on the town’s former middle school site, while a major £1.5m regeneration programme is proposed at the 14th century St Mary’s Church.

Long-held aspirations to modernise the Rifle Hall, with £500,000 funding, a £450,000 development for a new community space for New Cut Arts and plans for a children’s play area in Halesworth Town Park were exhibited.

Simon Weeks, chairman of the Halesworth Rising group, said: “These are exciting times for Halesworth. We have had phenomenal interest and there has been a really, really great turn-out.”

Tony Goldson, who represents the town on the county and district councils and is chairman of the Halesworth Campus Group, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with how this event has gone. This is showing the people of Halesworth what is happening, not what could happen.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and Waveney MP Peter Aldous attended the event, along with the leaders of the district and county councils, Colin Law and Mark Bee. Dr Coffey said: “Lots of exciting things and great work is being done in Halesworth and this has been a fantastic event.”