New pool could be part of £59 million Hub proposal

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A £59 million project which could see a new leisure centre and swimming pool built in Mildenhall could move a step closer next week.

The new facilities would be part of the Mildenhall Hub, a Forest Heath District Council (FHDC) project aimed at bringing the council, emergency services, leisure, health and education onto one or two sites in the town.

Cabinet members will discuss the plans for the scheme, which has already received £42,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government Transformation Award towards the early development of the concept, on Tuesday after a business case for the scheme, was released earlier this week.

“We have never seen anything quite as ambitious as this and hopefully it would put Mildenhall on the map,” said Alex Wilson, director at FHDC.

“A lot of the buildings will reach their natural design life expectancy over the next 25 years and will need replacing. It is now a question of whether money will be spent, but how it will be spent and when.

“What this business case does is look at 12 options in addition to the status quo of maintaining and patching up the existing buildings.

“Some look at a single hub while others look at split sites. We have got lots of options here which is what makes the project so excitable.”

While the proposals are still very much at a concept stage, James Waters FHDC leader, believes the scheme, which work could begin on as early as next year, could have benefits for a much wider audience than just residents of Mildenhall

“I have been pushing for something like this for years,” said Cllr Waters.

“The Hub would not just support Mildenhall but all those surrounding villages. It would benefit all of Forest Heath.

“It will be a challenge and we are talking big figures, but there is public money there for the right scheme.

“This is the right scheme and it would be a benchmark for the rest of the country.”

Anyone wishing to view the business case can do so by visiting www.mildenhallhub.info.