Mildenhall Hub project receives £42,000 funding boost

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Plans to create a service hub combining police, council education, leisure and health services in Mildenhall has received a funding boost.

The Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) has awarded the Mildenhall Hub project £42,000.

Leader of Forest Heath District Council, James Waters, has spearheaded the scheme.

He said: “When we made an application last year, the minister told us that CLG were very interested in the ambition of our scheme.

“This is exciting news because it confirms CLG agree that this shared public estate project has the potential to show the way forward nationally.”

The project would see Mildenhall College Academy, Forest Heath District Council, emergency services, leisure facilities and other authorities brought together on one site, sharing facilities to reduce costs.

Among the sites being considered are Sheldrick Way and the existing district council site in College Heath Road.

Cllr Waters said the project is in its early stages but had the potential to save tax payers money and create a one-stop-shop for services.

MP for West Suffolk, Matthew Hancock, said: “I am delighted that the CLG has secured additional funds.

“This is fantastic news for the local community and with extra funding now available for the Mildenhall hub, I’m sure we’ll see a great transformation in services in the local area.

“I look forward to seeing Forest Heath lead the way for local authorities.”

A business case is currently being drawn up to assess the feasibility of the project with wider public consultation planned for later in 2014/2015.

Anglia Community Leisure is one of the partners involved in the plan, which could see a new swimming pool and leisure facilities built for the use of the community.

Chief executive Warren Smyth said: “The Hub concept is intended to put Mildenhall at the forefront of public service delivery, improving services and opportunities for the community.”