�4.75m youth centre plans submitted

A VISION to create a world-class �4.75million centre for young people in the heart of a Suffolk town has moved a step closer to reality after planning papers were submitted.

The plans for The Mix, a creative centre for young people in and around Stowmarket, are now with officials at Mid Suffolk District Council.

The Mix would be built in Ipswich Street, opposite the Regal Theatre, and the development would contribute to the major improvements planned for Stowmarket’s town centre.

Right from the start of the project, the views of young people in the town were sought and their feedback “heavily influenced” the design of the building and facilities that would be on offer.

Chris Game, Suffolk County Council’s lead designer for the scheme, said: “The plan we have submitted is state of the art and acts as a magnet for young people while being respectful to its location in a conservation area.”

Funded largely through a grant from the Myplace programme, run by the Big Lottery Fund for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, The Mix would provide young people with “a safe space to explore their talents, develop new skills, socialise with friends and access independent advice and guidance from various specialists”.

It would also have a housing unit to provide suitable short-term emergency accommodation with specialist support and housing advice staff living on site around the clock, working with the young residents to help them either return home, or move into age-appropriate supported housing. Building plans are now available for public viewing and comment at Suffolk County Council Headquarters, Endeavour House, Ipswich and at Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

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For more details about the project, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk and search for The Mix.