‘UK leading’ £59 million Mildenhall Hub to bring police, swimming pool, NHS and school all onto one site
- Credit: Contributed
A ‘UK leading’ £59 million project, which would bring emergency services, leisure, health and education all onto one site in Mildenhall, is getting closer to becoming reality.
Research for the ‘Mildenhall Hub’ concept has identified that many of the public sector buildings in Mildenhall are not fit for purpose and will need replacing within the coming years.
Plans for the hub, coordinated by Forest Heath District Council, could save the public services millions a year, it has been claimed.
At this stage the hub would see council, police, fire, the Mildenhall College Academy, NHS, leisure facilities including a new swimming pool, the Department of Work and Pensions and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau all on one site.
A business case found that 50% of the running costs of the buildings could be saved, reducing the cost to taxpayers.
The business plan has identified that the hub could either be delivered at Sheldrick Way, or as part of a split site to include the council offices on College Health Road.
James Waters, Conservative leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “Mildenhall is leading the way for the UK. If we take the opportunity, this could be a first for the entire country, a visionary concept that will bring schools, council and other services together to continue my promise of delivering more for less and making every penny count.
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“We are also securing the long term future of services for the people of Mildenhall and the surrounding area.
“There is still a long way to go, the business case is only the start, but the important thing is that it shows just maintaining these old crumbling buildings will cost nearly as much as building the hub, without the benefit of the reduced running costs and improved services to people that this exciting an ambitious project will deliver.”
Susan Byles, principal at Mildenhall College Academy said: “This is an innovative project which could have serious benefits for education, not only leading to better outcomes for our students, but also increased opportunities for skills development, apprenticeships and further education for the whole community.
“I see Mildenhall College Academy very much as part of the hub plan and look forward to exploring with Forest Heath and our other partners, how this imaginative scheme can be best delivered, and putting the academy at the very heart of community life.”