Mildenhall Hub officially opens after plaque unveiling
The Mildenhall Hub was given its official opening today by members of the community that use the facility.
Three-year-olds Clara Sore and Jaxon Lerman unveiled a plaque on the Sheldrick Way site accompanied by Chloe Colclough and Lucy Fox from Little Treasures Nursery.
The £39million site is now home to the likes of Mildenhall College Academy, Abbeycroft Leisure gym, fitness studios and swimming pool as well as a new town library, health centre, children’s centre, Citizens Advice West Suffolk and job centre.
The Hub also features office space for the NHS, police, Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council.
Talking at the opening, councillor John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: "You have all turned a vision into reality, the hub is about the future and the communities it serves.
"And I am absolutely delighted to see those that have been using the hub on a regular basis officially open the building, including some who were not even born when this project began."
Also part of the opening were Mildenhall College Academy students, Esme Perpetuo and Stanley Turner.
Esme praised how spacious the new school was and that it was a ' really good learning environment'.
Stanley said: “It is a really easy layout, the building is amazing, it is really modern and a lot better than our old school plus it has loads of really good facilities, such as the gym and pool – then you have everything in the school, the cooking rooms, the design technology rooms – it’s great.”
Andrew Squire was one of the first members of the Mildenhall Sharks swimming club to use the old pool in Recreation Way, and his parents Beryl and John Squire were two founder members of the committee that raised funds for the community pool.
He said: "The opening of the original swimming pool and being a member of Mildenhall Sharks from aged nine, made a huge impact on my early life.
"Regular training sessions and travelling the county and beyond for swimming galas with colleagues was so much fun; providing memories to last me a lifetime. If the new facilities at The Hub can provide individuals with the same experiences these will be a great asset to the local community."
Geraint Jones, Vice President of the swimming club, said the the hub was so important because it combines all the aspects of life in a small county town.
He said: "We have a beautiful new swimming pool with space for all our swimmers and opportunity to develop the club to include triathlon and learn to swim.
"The young members of The Sharks are greatly motivated with the new facilities and we're looking forward to what we can achieve as a community club."
Another person at the opening was Colleen Duffield, who is a member of Abbeycroft Leisure and has used the facilities more than any other member since it’s opening in June.
She said: "The Hub is fantastic and I love the new leisure facilities. We used to have to use all different buildings and locations, so having it all under one roof is brilliant."
"I became a member of Abbeycroft six years ago after I broke my ankle and I had gained a lot of weight and it’s fair to say I now have the fitness bug. I feel so much healthier having lost weight and being active but I’ve made so many friends and a facility like this helps people feel part of a community.”
Regular Mildenhall Library user, Sonal Balrey, said that the all-in-one factor of The Hub made it so much easier for her to pick up her next read but also when taking her children swimming or to karate lessons as well.