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Future blueprint for three Suffolk towns to be developed

PUBLISHED: 10:47 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:47 21 August 2019

Needham Market is one of three towns next in line for 'Vision for Propserity' work. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Needham Market is one of three towns next in line for 'Vision for Propserity' work. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A fresh vision for three Suffolk towns is to be drawn up as councils aim to help develop their culture, business and economy.

Gerard Brewster said work for Eye and Needham Market had evolved from that whcih had already begun in Stowmarket. Picture: GREGG BROWNGerard Brewster said work for Eye and Needham Market had evolved from that whcih had already begun in Stowmarket. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils developed the 'Vision for Prosperity' model to improve two key towns - Sudbury and Stowmarket, in 2018.

It came up with proposals to help boost the economy, upgrade tourism and leisure, and assist retail offerings.

Work is now starting on delivering those plans, with the second phase of creating new 'visions' starting this summer for Hadleigh, Needham Market and Eye.

Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for economic growth said the work from Stowmarket had "evolved into Needham Market and Eye because they are market towns, and like Stowmarket, need the vision to take themselves forward.

Hadleigh is Babergh's next priority for Vision for Prosperity work. Picture: SIMON PARKERHadleigh is Babergh's next priority for Vision for Prosperity work. Picture: SIMON PARKER

"I hope that what is being done in Stowmarket will help our next two towns as well."

Among some of the developments in Stowmarket planned or in development are information panels through the town, Cedars Hotel upgrades, improvement to the Museum of East Anglian Life, an extension to the Regal Theatre, and development of a technology hub.

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At Babergh, work on Hadleigh's vision follows on from efforts already carried out in Sudbury.

Councillor Michael Holt said it was important for the community and youngsters in Hadleigh to be involved. Picture: PAUL NIXON/BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILCouncillor Michael Holt said it was important for the community and youngsters in Hadleigh to be involved. Picture: PAUL NIXON/BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Councillor Michael Holt, economic growth cabinet member at Babergh said: "Sudbury has had one done and it is the logical next step to extend that vision to Hadleigh.

"I am optimistic that this council can get some delivery on the visionary work for Sudbury.

"Hadleigh is very encouraging with the amount of enthusiasm there has been.

"We can do things to engage with the community and the support of young people is very important."

Among Sudbury's plans are a revamp of the Hamilton Road quarter, improving the town centre and the Kingfisher Leisure Centre refurbishment.

A series of workshops were already held in June, and in Hadleigh further conversations with the community are to take place in October with the Hadleigh On Show event, as well as separate conversations with youngsters at the secondary school in the autumn.

A timeline for work has not yet been disclosed.

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