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New Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre: Councillors to discuss final business case for Western Way Development




Councillors are to discuss the final business case for a multi-million pound public service village in Bury St Edmunds including a new leisure centre.

West Suffolk Council’s cabinet meets on Tuesday and is being asked to recommend approval of the £143.7 million Western Way Development plans, which would bring public services together, create jobs and release land for housing.

The proposals also replace and upgrade the 44-year-old Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre. Facilities include a 10-lane 25 metre swimming pool, splash park, fitness suite and four-court sports hall.

Western Way Development night perspective. Picture: West Suffolk Council and Pick Everard
Western Way Development night perspective. Picture: West Suffolk Council and Pick Everard

Cllr Jo Rayner, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and community hubs, said the development is ‘capable of paying for itself over time’ and West Suffolk was ‘showing the way nationally on how public services can be delivered’.

Council expenditure for the development will be capped at £112 million with a further £27.9 million for the leisure centre - funded by borrowing.

This excludes £12.9 million plans for a pre-school and upto 150 units of West Suffolk College student accommodation which, if the authority was involved directly in their delivery, would be subject to separate final business cases.

Western Way Development pool hall. Picture: West Suffolk Council and Pick Everard
Western Way Development pool hall. Picture: West Suffolk Council and Pick Everard

The new leisure centre would be built on the council’s depot in Olding Road while the steel frame of the depot building and an adjoining warehouse would be re-used for a facility to house public services.

The business case says that replacing the leisure centre now is ‘likely to save taxpayers around £15 million over the next 30 years’.

Improvements to the skatepark and a new athletics pavilion are also factored into the £27.9 million leisure centre plans.

The public service building would accommodate community health services, public sector offices, commercial office space and conference facilities. Discussions have involved the police, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, NHS, central government, Abbeycroft Leisure and West Suffolk College.

Western Way Development public cafe. Picture: West Suffolk Council and Pick Everard
Western Way Development public cafe. Picture: West Suffolk Council and Pick Everard

About three hectares of land could be released by partners moving to Western Way creating space for more than 90 homes.

There would be 1,450 parking spaces and to manage traffic, changes are planned to the junctions from Newmarket Road, along Western Way, to the junction with Beeton’s Way.

A consultation ends on Tuesday and an exhibition will be held today from 2pm to 7pm at the leisure centre.

Visit westsuffolk.gov.uk/wwd



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