Building starts on final phase of The Mix project

Final stages of construction at The Mix.'Cllr Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council's deputy cabinet member for education, skills and young people, will be there to lay the first brick of the new front of the building.

Final stages of construction at The Mix.'Cllr Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council's deputy cabinet member for education, skills and young people, will be there to lay the first brick of the new front of the building.

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The final building stage of a £5million youth centre in Stowmarket has begun.

The Mix project is now set to be completed by January 2014 and ready for use by young people in the town early in the new year.

On Friday July 12, Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s deputy cabinet member for education, skills and young people, laid the first brick of the street-facing front building.

He said: “I am delighted that we are now well on our way to completing this landmark facility for young people.

“The Mix is a very valuable and unique facility for Suffolk.

“I am particularly pleased that it will offer an inspirational environment in which young people will be given opportunities to learn new skills and increase their employability.”

Building work on The Mix began in 2011 and Suffolk County Council originally aimed to have the centre opened in March this year.

But construction of the multi-million pound centre was dealt a blow when it was discovered the Victorian building at the front of the site has serious structural defects and could not be repaired in an economically viable way.

And as the building falls within a conservation area, government approval had to be sought to demolish it.

But in January this year, the site was given the green light from Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles and the dilapidated Victorian facade was ripped down.

While the building of The Mix is being finished, The Mix Trust, which will take responsibility for running the centre from Suffolk County Council, is working from alternative locations in the town, such as the former youth club in Childer Road, to run activities and get young people ready to move into the centre.

John Shaw, Chairman of the trust said: “We are sure that The Mix will be worth the wait. It is a fantastic facility that the whole community will be proud of when it is finally completed.”