Plans in place to build �6.5m sports development in Beccles
PLANS are being put in place which could see a new �6.5m sports development built in Beccles.
The building would replace the existing Beccles sports centre on Ringsfield Road, next to the Sir John Leman High School site, and would incorporate a number of facilities to support the students and the town and its surrounding areas.
A partnership and project team has been developed between the high school, Waveney District Council and Beccles Town Council.
Jeremy Rowe, headteacher of Sir John Leman, said this is exactly what the town needs.
'There's more than a strong possibility this will happen,' he said.
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'It will be a brand new building and we would love to deliver this for the school and people of Beccles – a first class facility for a first class town.'
The plans would see the current building being knocked down and re-built to include a number of facilities including a climbing wall, badminton courts, new expanded gym, sports hall, dance studios, a cafe, a soft play area and an outside sports area with all weather sports pitches.
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Mr Rowe added: 'The facilities on offer are all questionable at the moment. It depends on how much funding is achieved, but the plans are well advanced.
'It would be extraordinary for the area to have an iconic facility in a town which deserves the best.
'Beccles has a great school, people and community and it deserves a great sporting facility.
'There is a decent chance this could be achieved.
'Beccles isn't second class educationally, so why should it be in sporting facilities?
'The project is currently in its feasibility stage – scoping design and business case, and identifying affordability and potential funding opportunities.'
It is hoped the project feasibility will be completed by the end of the year and the project group will be undertaking a full public consultation.
Mr Rowe also confirmed that the Sir John Leman High School recently received a 'good' Ofsted report, which included 'outstanding' grades in three categories.
Mr Rowe added: 'It was a good Ofsted – better than last time, as we have more outstanding features now. It was really good timing for us as it's a very up-to-date acknowledgement of how good we are and we are really proud of it.
'Now the question is 'do we need two high schools in Beccles when we are proving to be a good school?'. In a town which can't afford a rubbish tip can we afford to pay money for a school the town doesn't need?
'We will keep going and try to improve. I'm proud of the school and proud of what we have achieved. It will be a very sad day for the town if the second high school put an end to that.'
The project is supported by Beccles Regeneration Company.