Fund-raising bid for community centre for Horringer estate in Bury St Edmunds

Artist's impression of the new Glastonbury Court care home
Artist's impression of the new Glastonbury Court care home
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A campaign has been launched to fund a much-needed community centre for a Bury St Edmunds estate – as residents were given more details of a new care home.

Suffolk county councillor Sarah Stamp and local groups are to investigate funding possibilities for a multi-purpose facility, which could cost more than £750,000, for the Horringer estate – the only such area in the town without a community centre.

The Horringer Court Community Church and dementia support group De-Caf currently use a room at Glastonbury Court care home, which is due to be replaced by a new state of the art building.

Bosses at Care UK, which held an exhibition on Thursday for residents to view the care home plans, say a room and a proposed wellbeing centre could be used by ‘organised groups by prior arrangement’.

The issue came to a head at a meeting with Cllr Stamp Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee, the Horringer Court Residents’ Association and community church.

Cllr Stamp said: “We’ve all agreed the estate needs some sort of community provision. They haven’t got anywhere in the estate as a social hub. Obviously they don’t come cheap and it’s a huge undertaking.”

She will now work with her locality officer to look at funding possibilities and how the community could raise money.

Andy Conroy, an elder and chairman of the trustees at the community church, who initiated the meeting with Cllr Bee, said they had a ‘certain amount of money set aside to start off a fund’ for the project.

He estimated the centre could cost between £750,000 to £1.5 million.

Mr Conroy said: “The commitment and determination is there with the church and residents’ association. The difficulty is in raising the money.”

At the meeting, Philip Jude, vice-chairman of the residents’ association, asked Cllr Bee whether an alternative site could be provided to build the new care home.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said after ‘very careful consideration’ the existing site was ‘considered most appropriate’.