Stowmarket: Sports clubs work together to progress new leisure facilities. What would you like to see built in the town?

Stowupland Falcons in red playing in the KBB Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival

Stowupland Falcons in red playing in the KBB Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival

The next step has been taken to build new sports facilities to deal with a town’s growing population.

Stowmarket’s sports clubs, as well as representatives from Mid Suffolk District Council and the town council, held a “productive” meeting when they met to discuss the town’s leisure infrastructure.

Gary Green, one of the town’s county and district councillors, was happy with what he heard.

He said: “There was quite a lot of people there; they pretty much packed out the town council chamber. I was very happy to see that number of people who were from across a range of different sports. The meeting went well and was very productive.

“Everyone agrees we can get the money from the grants – that’s not the problem, it’s the land.

“We are surrounded by farmland and we are a boom town which needs the land; we have a lot of proposals for homes and so it is not easy for us to get it for sports use.

“If the gymnastics club gets someone good, a potential Olympian, they have to send them to Bury or Ipswich, and Stowmarket has then missed out on a future gold medallist. For someone like me, who’s from Stowmarket, that’s horrifying.”

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One outcome from the meeting was to look to set up groups to focus on indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

Mr Green said one proposition is to extend the town’s main general facility, Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre. It is owned by Mid Suffolk District Council but the land around it, used by the adjacent Stowmarket High School, is owned by Suffolk County Council.

Dean Last, Stowupland Falcons Football Club’s club development officer, said it was important that councils admitted there was a lack of facilities in the town. He said: “The town has grown dramatically and the sports facilities, frankly, have not with the size of the town, it has got to the point that there’s an issue.

“The councils, Mid Suffolk District Council and Stowmarket Town Council, are now prepared to look at it and do what they can.

“The Stowupland Falcons are growing all the time and we have now outgrown our facilities. What we would very much like to see is some all weather pitches.”

The town is also home to Suffolk FA’s headquarters.