Stowmarket wellbeing and leisure hub to be taken to the next stage 

An overview of the proposed provision of sport, leisure and wellbeing facilities at the new hub in Stowmarket. Photo: Saunders Boston Architects.

Plans to improve leisure and wellbeing facilities in Stowmarket are set to move forward following agreement from Mid Suffolk District Council to fund the next stage of development.

The draft masterplan outlines how new and improved facilities for a wide range of sports, leisure and health organisations can be brought together across a single site in Stowmarket. The proposals include a multi-agency welling being hub, a 4g football pitch and a multi-use 2g pitch, a mini athletics track, new multi-sports pavilion, a multi-use games area, four new indoor sports courts and new cricket square and nets.

With the funding now agreed, Mid Suffolk District Council can develop detailed designs for the project, hold public engagement events to share plans with the community and prepare and submit a planning application for the scheme.

Harry Richardson, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “I am delighted that we can move to the next phase of this project and start developing the details for this new and holistic approach to health, wellbeing, sport, and leisure in Stowmarket. By working closely with our partners, we can deliver our ambitious plans to provide the right mix of facilities and maximise the opportunities for our communities.”

The proposed masterplan has been developed in partnership with key stakeholders including Suffolk County Council, Stowmarket Town Council, Stowmarket High School and other local primary schools, Stowmarket leisure centre, local Clinical Commissioning Groups, Active Suffolk, local sports clubs and Sport England, alongside ward councillors.

Dave Lee-Allan, headteacher at Stowmarket High School, added: “It is very exciting that we will now be able to share the plans for the new sport, leisure and health facilities which will benefit not only the school community but also the wider residents of Stowmarket and the surrounding areas. The proposals have the potential to create a real boost to the area and make accessing a range of sports and wellbeing services so much easier, particularly for our students.”

The proposals will look to improve and replace the current sports facilities across two parcels of land in the northwest of Stowmarket, including land surrounding Stowmarket High School and Chilton Fields. Currently these sites offer sport provision for rugby, cricket, football, and tennis. The scheme and developing partnerships will create the opportunity to support the development of these clubs and enable them to be more inclusive whilst encouraging more people to get active.

Local residents and community groups will be able to access plans and provide feedback both at public events and online this summer.

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