Joy at town's new 'all singing and dancing' community centre
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A market town finally has a brand new community centre after decades of planning, fundraising and delays.
Construction at the new Bungay Community Centre, at the rear of the playing field at Old Grammar Lane, was recently completed, with the new site used for the first time as a polling station earlier this month.
The centre will replace the old Honeypot Centre, which was built almost 80 years ago, with demolition work beginning this week.
Bungay Reeve Judy Cloke, chair of the trustees of the Bungay Honeypot Centre, said: "The new building is all singing and dancing and I am absolutely delighted with it.
"It has been such a long haul to get here, with an awful lot of work, but this is extremely important for Bungay because there are so many local groups who want to hire our facilities.
"The old centre, although it had a faithful following, had become unfit for purpose."
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The new centre includes a kitchen, a fully-functioning lecture room and a large room which can be divided in two.
Martin Evans, trustee secretary, said: "The community centre is extremely important to Bungay but it had gone way past its sell by date and needed to be replaced.
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"It has been a really long time coming, but we have finally achieved it and I hope the people of Bungay will be proud of it.
"We always said we wouldn't close down the old building until the new one was ready, and now they're roaring ahead to get the old site sorted.
"We said we'd get the new hall open in time for polling day and we just pulled it off, even though work was still going on outside, and now the only thing to be added is the signage."
Plans were lodged with East Suffolk Council in 2019 to demolish the Honeypot Centre, on Upper Olland Street, and build four bungalows and garages.
Ms Cloke, who was re-elected to represent the town on East Suffolk and Suffolk County councils, said: "The plan is for new bungalows to be built there.
"The builders, Sprake and Tyrrell who built the new centre, are very high quality and I am looking forward to seeing the new bungalows.
"We would not have been able to build the centre without the support of then-Waveney District Council, county councillor David Ritchie, Bungay Town Trust and Bungay Medical Centre."