Chance for people in Halesworth to have their say on new facilities

People in Halesworth will have a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to have their say on the future of a long-awaited sports and community facility this week.

There have been calls for new sports facilities in the town for about 20 years and now those dreams are set to become a reality as the plans to develop Halesworth middle school continue.

The school is due to close in August 2012, following a Suffolk-wide reorganisation of education, and the Halesworth Campus Task Group was set up especially to see whether the site could be turned into a hub for a number of community resources.

The primary aim is to solve the lack of sporting facilities for the Blyth Valley catchment area, while linking this to the recently constructed North Suffolk Skills Centre.

Halesworth Playing Fields Association and Waveney District Council have been working with fitness company Pulse, and it is hoped a new-build sports complex will provide an indoor heated swimming pool, gym, astro turf, activities room, caf� and a function room.

It is hoped this will act as a spring-board for other projects, possibly including a new day centre for the elderly and business facilities.

Today the Halesworth Campus 2012 project is being launched and local people are being asked for their input.

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Tony Goldson, chairman of Halesworth Playing Field Association and a Suffolk county councillor, said: 'We are inviting the public to come along, have a look and come up with ideas. The sports complex is the one that will go up but the rest of the building is a blank page.

'We want to see what people come up with. It is a once in a lifetime chance.'

Mr Goldson said that since the unveiling of the plans the task group had received a lot of emails and telephone calls about the plans, with people 'overjoyed' at the sports centre design.

The Halesworth Campus 2012 project launch and exhibition will be held at the skills centre in Harrison's Lane today at 4pm and 7pm. For further details email or call Simon Weeks on 01986 784348.