West Suffolk Council announce opening date for Mildenhall Hub
The Mildenhall Hub, a £39million project which brings together a school, gym, library, and health services, is set to open in phases from the end of May.
After a pandemic-hit year of construction, which saw building work paused, West Suffolk Council has been forced to put back the original opening date of January.
The first parts of the hub, built on land off Sheldrick Way, will open from May 24 with Mildenhall College Academy students expected to move in from June 14.
Most parts of the hub, which will also contain a swimming pool, 3G football pitch, and job centre, are set to open in May.
West Suffolk Council has stated that all dates are all subject to the testing of the building and the Government's 'road map' progressing as hoped.
Council leader John Griffiths said: "The aspiration behind it has always been to provide better facilities such as the new school and leisure provision... By having everything together on one site close to the town centre, it should make it easier to access all these services within one journey, rather than making several trips around the town. The Hub itself is also much more efficient than the old outdated buildings it replaces, and the savings, both environmental and economical, offer greater resilience to services at a time when we have all been feeling the strain.”
Academy principal Nicky Hood added: “I’m sure I speak for all my staff and students when I say we can’t wait to get into the hub. It’s been a long-held ambition to deliver better teaching facilities and a better learning environment that can only benefit our students."
The hub will replace several amenities in Mildenhall, including the Dome, pool, and gym on Recreation Way. The Dome and gym will reopen from April 12 (until they are replaced) but the pool will not.
The hub's café will open at a later date due to social distancing requirements. Constructor RG Carter is now applying the finishing touches and is set to be finished by the end of April. An official opening ceremony is set to be held once everything is up and running later in the year.
James Wilson, director of RG Carter, said: “We are delighted to be in the final phase of construction and a step closer to handing over this unique and innovative project that will benefit the region for years.”
Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Constabulary have also supported the project - with both organisations set to occupy some of the available offices. The NHS will also have a presence on site. The gym, pool and pitches are set to be managed by Abbeycroft Leisure - the company behind the pool in Bury St Edmunds.
- UPDATED An earlier version of this story stated the pool would reopen from April 12, but this will not happen.