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Bury St Edmunds: Commitment in writing to bring about estate’s community centre

PUBLISHED: 14:50 30 July 2014 | UPDATED: 14:54 30 July 2014

Horringer Court Community centre plans at the old Middle School. Left to right, Sarah Stamp, Andy Conroy, David Shepheard, Philip Jude, Tony Ballard.

Horringer Court Community centre plans at the old Middle School. Left to right, Sarah Stamp, Andy Conroy, David Shepheard, Philip Jude, Tony Ballard.

An “important first step” had been taken to achieve a community centre on the only Bury St Edmunds estate not to have one.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by a number of partners who are willing to work together to bring about the centre for Horringer Court.

The MoU has been agreed between the Horringer Court Community Church, Horringer Court Middle School, the Horringer Court Residents’ Association, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.

Councillor Sarah Stamp, who represents the Hardwick division on Suffolk County Council, said the
location in mind for the new centre is in the grounds of the school, but added it was “very early stages”.

She said: “It is fantastic that within just a few months we have got to a position where all parties are prepared to sign this memorandum of understanding and are fully engaged in working together to deliver what would be an extraordinary facility for the community.

“We have had overwhelming support from the local community and it is testament to the commitment and dedication of the people of Horringer Court that this project is moving forward.”

She said the MoU was “an important first step,” adding: “What we really need now is help with fundraising and people to come forward to support us in making sure we get the funds we need.”

Mrs Stamp, who is also a borough councillor, said momentum really grew for the project when concerns were raised about a lack of a community centre on the site of the new Glastonbury Court care home.

Stephen Jarrold, chairman of the Horringer Court Residents’ Association, said he was really pleased with the progress which is now being made.

“What was really important was to have a vote of confidence really from the community,” he said. “We did a survey and I’m really pleased we had more than 80 responses with only four of those being not really interested.”

He added: “If you consider there are nearly 1,000 houses on the estate – that’s a decent sized village if you calculate the number of people – and not to have a focal point for the community to do things is remarkable.”

He said the Church would provide about £80,000 to kickstart the process.

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