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Stowmarket community have their say on £3.5m Suffolk FA headquarters

PUBLISHED: 12:32 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:32 29 March 2019

Concept images for Suffolk FA's new headquarters in Stowmarket will be discussed at a meeting in the town this week. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

Concept images for Suffolk FA's new headquarters in Stowmarket will be discussed at a meeting in the town this week. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

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Stowmarket community members have taken the opportunity to take a first look at a £3.5million project to build brand new headquarters for Suffolk FA, including a state of the art 3G multi-use pitch.

Suffolk FA's new Headquarters will include office space changing rooms as well as an artificial pitch and a shared car park. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCILSuffolk FA's new Headquarters will include office space changing rooms as well as an artificial pitch and a shared car park. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

The plans to build the new base for the FA have been in the works for several years, but Stowmarket Town Council have taken a big step forwards by starting the consultation period, allowing residents to comment on the draft designs.

It’s planned that the main building will house office, training and conference facilities, which the Suffolk FA plans to make available for other community organisations to rent out and a large car park will be built and shared with a neighbouring health centre.

The meeting took place at Stowhealth, near the site of the proposed build oat the Millfields site in Violet Hill Road and residents were invited to meet the team behind the plans.

David Blackburn, Stowmarket Town Clerk said: “It has been an excellent event today. We’ve had people from right across the local community from sports people to people interested in better health facilities and they have nearly all been impressed with the plans.

“To have a facility like this is massively important. There are so many sessions that people will be able to book here, during the day and the night and the floodlights will allow sports teams to use the pitches throughout the winter.

“It can be used by multiple teams and multiple age groups so it is great for the community.”

The biggest challenge that lies ahead is raising the £3.5m for the project, despite a generous £100,000 that has been pledged by the council.

If the plans get the green light, the FA hopes to use the pitch for more community activities such as football fitness sessions and walking football.

Joe Patterson whose son plays for a local team said: “It’s really exciting. I think Stowmarket has needed a place like this for the kids to play for ages. I can’t wait to see my lad playing down there in a few years time.”

Suffolk FA chairman Phil Lawler said: “It’s been fantastic and I’m now really excited for the project. Stowmarket is a very strong footballing town and it always have been. It’s very important that we try to provide the facilities so that the expanding football community has a safe and well lit place to play.”

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