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Former West Suffolk Council depot in Olding Road, Bury St Edmunds, could be transformed into trampoline and virtual reality experience in £7m project

A former council depot in Bury St Edmunds could be transformed into a trampoline and virtual reality experience in a £7 million project.

Plans for the former West Suffolk Council depot and NHS supplies building, in Olding Road, are to be discussed by the authority on Tuesday.

The site was earmarked to form part of the council’s now abandoned Western Way Development, which would have created a new leisure centre and a hub for public services.

The Olding Road depot site in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google
The Olding Road depot site in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google

The site is costing the authority £300,000 a year in holding costs including security.

A provisional proposal has been received for a trampoline and virtual reality experience within the former depot.

The remaining site would be marketed for permitted employment uses and/or a storage and distribution use, subject to acceptable highways movements.

The baling shed would be retained and refurbished for council storage use, subject to obtaining planning permission.

A business case said the plans have a total cost of up to £7 million which includes £1 million already agreed for the Western Way Development.

It said: “This option is showing a potential breakeven position after borrowing (over 10 years) is taken into account, funded by the income associated with the letting of the building.

“A net return after borrowing is expected as market rents increase and extending the life of the £6 million investment over a longer life than 10 years (of which the investment will have a longer life) would show an immediate net return after borrowing.”

On Tuesday, the council will also hear about a £8.36 million investment in maintaining, refurbishing and improving the Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre.

Cllr Diane Hind, cabinet member for resources, said: “The proposal for the Olding Road site in Bury St Edmunds, with the potential interest from a trampoline and virtual reality facilities, fits in with the surrounding college, skatepark and leisure facilities helping support this as a destination area for young people.

“At the same time the proposals supply opportunities for business use helping bring a package which boosts our strategic priorities of thriving communities and sustainable growth. This is fiscally sensible, as it reduces current costs to the council and fixes issues with the current building including the roof and historic contamination on the site.

“The assumption being it can pay for itself within 10 years and bringing an income thereafter. We also know that the market is very changeable at the moment and the proposal means we can also be flexible with what will happen to the site in the future.”