Business leader appointed to help steer plans for new community centre on Bury St Edmunds estate

Alex Till
Alex Till
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A well known business leader is to help steer plans for a new community centre on a Bury St Edmunds estate.

Alex Till, chief executive of Suffolk enterprise agency Menta, has been appointed as chairman of the Newbury Community Centre Project Board and will use his business skills to help residents on the Howard esate achieve their vision for the new facility.

Meanwhile, Rees Pryer Architects are carrying out a feability study as to what services - suggested by residents during a consultation - could be delivered at the centre, which would replace the existing facility, in St Olaves Road.

Ideas being considered include health provision, a bar/cafe, sports facilities such as changing rooms and childcare provision.

Mr Till, who remains as chief executive of Menta, said: “I am thrilled to be involved with the Newbury Community Centre project. Ultimately the borough council is looking to deliver a new, fit for purpose centre, which will be run by the residents themselves.

“While much of the ground work has already begun there is still a long way to go towards delivering a new community centre for the people on the estate.”

Residents will be consulted on the results of the feasability study, which will help determine building costs.

It is hoped that the new centre may be built by 2019.

Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and communities, said: “There is a real desire for the residents to be empowered to run the centre for themselves, so that they can meet the needs of their local community.

“Alex, meanwhile brings a strong set of business knowledge and negotiation skills to the table, and will help ensure we squeeze every penny in terms of what we can deliver for the benefit of the people living on the Howard Estate.”

Cllr Paul Hopfensperger, who represents the St Olaves Ward and is a member of the Newbury Community Centre Project Board, added: “I am delighted and very excited to be part of this project which is going to be an entirely new and different facility than anything else you will find in Bury. It will be a wonderful multi-purpose venue for use by everyone in the St Olaves Ward and beyond.”