A plan to spend £750,000 on Mildenhall’s Jubilee Centre will make such ‘significant savings’ in running costs that the return on the cash will be will be better than investing it.
Mildenhall Parish Council wants to replace aging, unreliable boilers with the latest technology plus having solar panels on the roof, low energy LED lighting, a ground source heat pump, new doors and windows, insulation and rainwater storage tanks.
The money comes from the sale of land for the nearby Sainsbury’s supermarket and a report to the council said: “Financial investment opportunities were researched, however return on investments would be minimal due to very low interest rates.”
But parish clerk Mandy Maguire said: “It’s going to make significant savings on energy and running costs, so it will make a big difference.”
She said they should also be able to get grants towards the eco-friendly features.
The centre will also be more comfortable, with air conditioning and a central roof light being replaced by an automatic vent linked to the heating thermostat.
There will be new toilets, including facilities for the disabled, and a new kitchen.
To ensure minimum disruption to groups who make daily use of the centre, they will first convert the long redundant changing rooms in the nearby sports pavilion to two meeting rooms separated by a multi-fold door to allow use as one large one.
Again, the building will have eco-friendly features including solar panels and a rainwater collection tank.
The report promises: “Where alternative rooms are not available on site, the clerk and office staff will ensure alternative rooms will be provided elsewhere for regular hall users at no additional cost.”
Five local builders have been asked to tender for the work which is expected to take 10 months.