Action not words are needed

A FORMER Stowmarket mayor today called for action and not words to demonstrate to the sceptics that the town is going forward.Keith Scarff was speaking as a project to revitalise one of Stowmarket's "green lungs" moved a step closer to reality.

A FORMER Stowmarket mayor today called for action and not words to demonstrate to the sceptics that the town is going forward.

Keith Scarff was speaking as a project to revitalise one of Stowmarket's "green lungs" moved a step closer to reality.

Possible funding sources have been identified to find the £100,000 needed to transform a 200-metre stretch of the River Gipping in the town.

The positive news has resulted from a meeting of community leaders in the town to discuss possible enhancement projects. Among the other schemes in the pipeline are the redevelopment of the town's Regal Theatre and Corn Exchange.


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But Mr Scarff, a town councillor, said: "As a town, we've got to get one of these projects off the ground to show people it's not just another report.

"At a funding meeting we had recently, it became very clear from the views of the people that we need something to get the ball rolling."

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Mr Scarff, who is also vice-chairman of the Pickerel Project, which is behind the proposal, said they hoped to attract European funding for the riverside development.

Lottery funding is another possible funding avenue and Mr Scarff believes the project could eventually become part of an overall regeneration of the 17-mile long river.

Mr Scarff said: "The River Gipping is a green lung that flows through the centre of Stowmarket and it needs to be more integrated into the town's life.

"It's a slightly overlooked part of the town, which given the right care and attention, could become an asset."

Included in the plans would be a new wooden riverside path, reinforced banks and a seated area between the Station Road and Stowupland Road bridges.

Around £15,000 has already been spent on improved pathways in the area and new railings are also proposed for the two bridges.

Support from local businesses has been received while the idea also has the backing of the town, district and county councils.

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