Funding boost of nearly £300,000 for Babergh communities

Communities are set to receive funding totalling £299,000 for local projects, including the regeneration of St Peter’s in Sudbury, a community venue in Chelsworth and play area in Newton.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is collected from developers when they build new properties in Babergh, with the aim of ensuring local infrastructure keeps pace with housing growth.

Babergh District Council today approved CIL funding of £75,000 for St Peter’s, Sudbury – supporting the ambitious regeneration project to transform the church into a cultural hub for activities and events in the heart of Sudbury. Plans include accessible facilities, including disabled lift access to a mezzanine gallery, ensuring the project is of benefit to the whole community.

The project helps to preserve the town’s history, cementing the building as a cultural asset for years to come, as well as complementing nearby visitor attractions such as Gainsborough’s House and the Quay Theatre.

The regeneration of St Peter’s is a key part of the future vision for Sudbury, which sees Babergh District Council working with partners to aid the economic recovery and growth of this key market town.

Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “This is an exciting project, for both the community and visitors alike, at a time when revitalising our town centres is more important than ever. Our significant contribution demonstrates our councils’ continued commitment to investing heavily in Sudbury – developing opportunities for visitors, businesses and the local community as part of the ‘Sudbury Vision.’ I am delighted that this round of funding will also enable Chelsworth, one of our smaller villages, to provide a unique and special venue in its historic church.

“CIL monies continue to make a real difference to residents in Babergh – delivering the facilities needed for our communities to thrive both now and in the future, whilst also preserving our district’s rich heritage and culture.”

Allison Burke, Development Officer for Churches Conservation Trust, said: “I would like to thank Babergh District Council for playing a key role in this regeneration project – by approving our CIL bid, as well as an additional £100,000 in grant funding. We are also immensely grateful for the ongoing support from the council with our bid for further project funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, helping us to realise our vision for the church and wider community.”

With CIL funding of £136,244 approved, work can now also begin on improvements to All Saints Church, Chelsworth. At a total estimated cost of £263,000, the project is set to create a vital venue in the village, accommodating the majority of community events, due to the village hall only being suitable for light use. The proposed works will provide new facilities, as well as allowing for floor space to be maximised, enhancing the church’s use to include educational and historic learning opportunities.

Also successful in this spending round was the village of Newton, which receives nearly £88,000 towards a children’s play area and multi-use games area – supporting the council’s ambition for bright and healthy futures for its residents. An additional £25,000 in grants has been contributed by the council, whilst Newton Parish Council has pledged £20,000 towards the project.

District CIL is income retained by the district council to spend on infrastructure to support development. This money must be applied for and the decision to spend amounts above a certain level has to be taken by Cabinet.

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