The first customers to use the new leisure facilities at Mildenhall Hub have described it as “very impressive“and “really lovely” ahead of its opening to the public from Monday 14 June.
Abbeycroft Leisure, a not-for-profit social enterprise will operate the leisure facilities on behalf of West Suffolk Council.
The new leisure facilities include a 25m 6-lane pool, teaching pool with adjustable floor, a 100-station gym (currently with reduced capacity for social distancing to 45-stations), two fitness studios, 4-court sportshall and an outdoor 3G pitch.
Bookings are open and all leisure activities need to be pre-booked at www.acleisure.com/mildenhall-hub.
Paula Drew from Lakenheath, a member of Abbeycroft for over 10 years, attended the test events and said “It’s all looking really, really lovely and I can’t wait for all the classes and sessions to start next week. The extra parking is great and having all those services together in one place is such a good idea”
Meanwhile the Mildenhall Sharks have been helping test the new pools and club secretary, Ben Child said, “This is going to give the club such a boost after a period of doom and gloom. The pandemic had threatened our future but I’m certain the new pool will see the return of past members and a good number of new ones. The old pool was where the Sharks were born, but certainly here we can thrive. Exciting times ahead!”
Warren Smyth, chief executive at Abbeycroft said: “We’re extremely pleased to be fully opening from Monday (14 June) and we’re looking forward to welcoming existing customers as well as new to these amazing new facilities at The Hub.”
“We see first hand how activity and exercise can not only improve lives but can also change lives and being co-located with our health partners will offer local people more opportunities to lead healthier, happier lifestyles.
Cllr Jo Rayner, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs, said: “This is an investment by West Suffolk Council and partners including Sport England in the future health and wellbeing of residents in and around the Mildenhall area and it is fantastic to see these long-awaited new leisure facilities ready to open. We have already heard great feedback from people who took part in some of our test events. I know lots of people in and around Mildenhall are particularly excited by the bigger pools and the other great leisure facilities that we have to offer and we look forward to welcoming you to them from Monday.”
Charles Johnston, Executive Director of Property at Sport England, said:
“The Mildenhall Hub sets a new standard for activity being at the heart of community. With £2m of national lottery investment, the leisure facilities will help local people to move more and boost recovery from the pandemic.
The co-location of the leisure centre with a school, library and other services also supports the building of inter-generational relationships and connections in the community. The Mildenhall Hub has the power to change lives and we look forward to seeing the impact that it has.”
The phased opening of the Hub, which brings together education, health, leisure, community and public services, has already seen the Mildenhall Library open while Mildenhall College Academy will welcome students to their new home at the Hub from Monday.
Once fully open the Hub will also offer a health centre, children’s centre and job centre as well as office space for the NHS, police, Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council, all of whom are due to complete their move to the Sheldrick Way site over the summer.
The Library meanwhile will increase its hours from Monday, opening seven days a week as it welcomes visitors to the building’s atrium.
The Hub will enable residents to access a host of different services all in a single journey and it brings environmental and economical savings through the old-outdated buildings it replaces.
Mildenhall Hub is recognised as a significant project in the Government’s national One Public Estate Programme and the funding for the project is coming from West Suffolk Council, the Department for Education, Suffolk County Council, Academy Transformation Trust, Sport England and Suffolk Police.
Some of the landscaping work will also now take place later this year, to tie into planting seasons, and visitors are asked to bear with the Hub team while this, and any other teething problems found in what is a very complex building are put right.
For full details of the Mildenhall Hub visit www.mildenhallhub.info
Photos courtesy of Mark Westley photography
Taken from test events.