Plans for sports facilities in Halesworth

EXCITING plans for the Halesworth middle school site have been unveiled which could see it become home to long-awaited sports and community facilities.

A task group has been set up to investigate whether the site can be regenerated as a hub for a number of much-needed and long-deserving resources.

People in Halesworth have been calling for new sports facilities for about 20 years and it appears a scheme is finally poised to become a reality.

The Halesworth Campus 2012 project launch and exhibition will take place later this month.

Tony Goldson, chairman of Halesworth Playing Field Association and Suffolk county councillor, said: “This is a development Halesworth can be proud of into the future and would bring prosperity to the town.”

The middle school will become vacant from September 2012 under Suffolk County Council’s schools reorganisation programme.

A feasibility study was commissioned by the county council in 2009 to assess the potential future uses of the site and it emerged that there was considerable scope for the development of the site to provide a range of community services.

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The primary proposal would be to link the possibility of solving the lack of sporting facilities for the Blyth Valley catchment with the opportunity to provide a high-quality educational presence on the site at the recently constructed North Suffolk Skills Centre.

Last autumn the Halesworth Campus Task Group was formed and four meetings have already taken place.

Halesworth Playing Fields Association and Waveney District Council have been working with fitness company Pulse on sports facilities for the town.

Pulse has surveyed the site and the company’s plan would be to start afresh on the footprint of the middle school building and create a new-build complex, providing an indoor heated swimming pool, fitness gym, activities room, caf� and a function room. Architects’ plans have already been drawn up. Plans have also been produced which show how the playing fields could be restructured to provide grass, Astro Turf and hard surfaces.

The task group say this would act as a springboard for many other projects on the campus.

A new day centre venue for the elderly has been suggested, along with the possibility of closer working with students at the skills centre.

Other opportunities include creating office accommodation and business meeting facilities, with the possibility of a business centre on the campus.

The task group is looking for people with ideas and enthusiasm and those who can help with aspects such as design, administration, networking, publicity, finance and legal issues. Halesworth Campus 2012 project launch and exhibition will be held at the skills centre in Harrison’s Lane on February 23 at 4pm and 7pm.

To get involved go to the launch and sign up or email or call Simon Weeks on 01986 784348.

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