Topping out ceremony marks key phase in building new public services hub
- Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL
A multi-million-pound project for a new public services hub in Mildenhall has reached a significant milestone in its construction.
Health Minister Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, joined project partners including staff and students from Mildenhall College Academy and construction firm R G Carter for a topping out ceremony today.
Tree planting, carried out by Mr Hancock and Mildenhall College Academy student Jessie Beale, marked the next phase of the project, which will combine education, health and leisure facilities on one site.
Mr Hancock said: "This is a unique and ambitious project, designed to benefit local residents now and into the future by delivering modern facilities shaped to their needs.
"Not only that, it represents a new and better way of integrated working, a blueprint for others to follow and one that I am proud to say is happening here in West Suffolk. I am delighted to see the advances that have been made and to celebrate with the various partner organisations, this next stage of the hub's construction."
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Once complete, Mildenhall Hub is set to be a national exemplar bringing together a new school, leisure facilities, a health centre, library, advice functions and a children's centre, and will also house desk space for Suffolk police, West Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council and the NHS, including Public Health England.
Leader of West Suffolk Council, John Griffiths, said: "The Mildenhall Hub is a trailblazing project. It is bold, exciting and visionary - and it has residents at its heart.
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"It is about how we continue to deliver the high-quality day-to-day services that they deserve and expect.
"It is also about how we further our work with public sector partners and how we invest in the future of facilities and services in the area all to the benefit of our local communities. I'm looking forward to seeing the vision become reality when Mildenhall Hub opens its doors by early next year."
Susan Byles, regional education director for Academy Transformation Trust, which includes Mildenhall College Academy, said: "It is brilliant to see the work on the Mildenhall Hub progressing and we are looking forward to taking possession before Christmas, enabling us to fit out the school and induct students ready for a start on site in January."
R G Carter was awarded the £39 million contract for construction of Mildenhall Hub and started work on site last year.
James Wilson, director at R G Carter, said: "After months of building, the topping-out ceremony allows us to welcome staff and key stakeholders to view the building and the various spaces created, and to thank everyone involved. It has been a fantastic experience for R G Carter to work on such a forward-thinking project that will make a real difference to the local community."
The next steps on site include the installation of two swimming pools, finalising roofing works and internal work and fittings, ready for a phased opening by early 2021.