Sneak peek at The Mix

The view inside the modern rear of The Mix youth project
The view inside the modern rear of The Mix youth project

BUILDING work on The Mix, a multi-million pound youth project in Stowmarket, is speeding along despite recent set backs.

Although planning approval to tear down the Victorian frontage was granted unanimously by Mid Suffolk District Council on Wednesday, the new plans for the modern yellow brick front still need the rubber stamp from the county council.

Steel girders are being used to support the Victorian frontage of the building

Steel girders are being used to support the Victorian frontage of the building

Due to these set backs, work has concentrated on the rear of the building - a modern concrete space with three floors.

The completed project, estimated to cost £5 million, will include a performance hall with pull-out seating, a cafe, a juice bar, an IT area and a recording studio.

Overlooking the performance area will be a viewing gallery with full disabled access.

Project Manager Adri Van der Collf said that the decision to knock down the existing frontage was due to economic constraints.

Project Adri Van der Collf and Senior Site Manager Stuart Summerhill stand on the viewing platform above The Mix's performance hall

Project Adri Van der Collf and Senior Site Manager Stuart Summerhill stand on the viewing platform above The Mix's performance hall

She said: “We thought the new plans would give the building a new life.

“We uncovered more and more problems with the older building as the building work went on.

The more surveys we did the more and more expensive the project was getting.

“Because the building is in a conservation area but is not a listed building it still has to comply with modern safety regulations.

The view of the outside of The Mix

The view of the outside of The Mix

“There are no allowances made for it.

“Even though the front of the building was older the whole building has to comply.”

The Mix will also include eight rooms including two ‘crash pads’ for young people who find themselves homeless.

The ‘crash pads’ are designed for young people to stay for a few days to cool off whereas the six other rooms, all of them with en suite bathrooms, are for people staying up to six months.

Adri said The Mix would give people who resided in the centre some positive activities to get involved with.

She said: “There is a shortage of temporary housing in Stowmarket.

If you were to stay here you have to get involved and try out what the project has to offer.

“It isn’t just going to be a bed for the night, it is giving them some kind of future.”

The project is due to open in March 2013.