New £70k games area plans go in

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A £70,000 activity area for young people could open in the New Year after improved plans were entered.

Mildenhall Community Partnership’s renewed application for a multi-use games area (Muga) on the Jubilee Fields was entered on Monday.

The floodlit area will contain a ballcourt and keep-fit equipment for children and young people.

David Bowman, chairman of the community partnership, said getting the project off the ground had been a ‘nightmare’ but the new plans would allow more young people to use the facilities.

“There’s the space there now so that in the day it can be used by younger children and later on teenagers can make use of it.

“We’ve already had interest from quite a few local clubs who want to use the space for various activities so it will be well-used,” he said.

Cllr Bowman said despite the partnership raising £80,000 for the project, they had managed to come in more than £10,000 under budget after extra consultations with contractors.

A grant from the Open Spaces Lottery Fund raised £50,000, with further money raised through Forest Heath District Council, the Suffolk Foundation, Suffolk County Council and the community partnership.

With planning permission having been granted for initial plans in May last year, Cllr Bowman said it had been a long wait for the Muga.

“It’s been frustrating but once we get the approval, we can hopefully start work in November and aim for an opening in the New Year,” he said.

Once completed, responsibility for the Muga will fall into the hands of Mildenhall Parish Council.

The area was proposed to address a shortfall in facilities for over 14s and Cllr Bowman insists that the left-over money from the project will be put into further youth projects.

A decision on the plans is due next month.