Town overhaul moves closer

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A £1.5 million project to overhaul Brandon’s major assets has moved a step closer.

The Total Brandon Project is set to give a long-needed boost to the toon, making use of ring-fenced cash left over from the axed Healthy Living Centre scheme.

The project is currently focusing on a variety of issues, including the redevelopment of Market Hill and the running of Brandon Country Park.

Now plans to create a public services ‘hub’ in the Old School House, on Market Hil,l have been put forward. Brandon Library, the Safer Neighbourhood Team and various other local amenities would move into the building should the plans come to fruition.

Cllr David Bimson told a meeting of Brandon Town Council on Monday night that although plans were only rough at this stage, there were encouraging signs.

“Plans for the Old School House look very attractive and workable and I think they would be of benefit to Brandon,” he said.

Cllr Bimson also showed the meeting preliminary plans of how the building would be organised.

Suffolk County Council is in charge of the project, and Total Brandon lead, Clair Harvey, said it was a chance to make the most of Brandon’s existing assets.

“Brandon feels that it sometimes doesn’t get a lot of attention and that it was time to give attention to something that is in a town that is on the edge of the county.

“We are now undertaking a feasibility study to work out whether a hub for public services in the Old School House would be possible but it’s at a very early stage at the moment. Rather than build a new place, we think we have a building there that we can refurbish,” she said.

Following an extraordinary meeting on Monday, the town council will give its representations to Suffolk on the future of Brandon Country Park.

A Total Brandon Project meeting will then be held next Friday, after which further details should be announced.

Anglia Community Leisure has emerged as the strongest candidate to run the country park, with Tony Bass, chief executive, due to make a presentation to the town council on Monday.