The Mix gets the green light

Stowmarket File Shot''Pictured: The Mix
Stowmarket File Shot''Pictured: The Mix
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The £5.5 million Mix youth project in Stowmarket has been given the final go-ahead.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, approved the demolition of the dilapidated Victorian front of the building to be replaced with a new modern building - designed with help from local young people.

Building work on the site began in 2011 and Suffolk County Council originally planned to have the centre opened in March this year.

But construction was dealt a blow when it was discovered the Victorian building at the front of the site has serious structural defects and could not be repaired in an economically viable way.

And as the building falls within a conservation area, government approval had to be sought to demolish it.

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and young people said: “There is strong local support in Stowmarket for this scheme and I am delighted that we are now well on our way to completing this landmark facility for young people.

“It has always been a youth-led project and pretty well unique in Suffolk.

“Completing the building’s facade will enable us to reinforce the purpose of the premises in a sympathetic and appropriate design, as well as maximising the space available within the building.”

Before the plans were presented to the secretary of state, they were recommended for approval by the county council, district council and town council.

John Shaw, chairman of the Mix Trust said: “We are sorry that young people will have to wait another year before The Mix is fully up and running, but we are sure it will be worth the wait.

“The Mix is a fantastic facility that the whole community will be proud of when it is finally completed.”