Building contractor appointed for Mildenhall Hub

A major national project to deliver a better school, improved leisure facilities, and integrated community and public services has appointed a building contractor.

Building work on the Mildenhall Hub will get fully underway in the spring, following the announcement this week that RG Carter has been appointed to carry out the construction work. The contract with RG Carter is for just over £39m. Enabling works including a sewer diversion are already taking place.

The Mildenhall Hub is a recognised as a significant project in the Government’s national One Public Estate Programme.

The Hub which will open in 2020, is creating modern accessible services that are more financially resilient and better suited to the present and future needs of people living in Mildenhall and the surrounding area. It will include a new school, children’s centre, new leisure facilities, a health centre, facilities for Suffolk Police, West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council, as well as a library, JobCentre, and Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

James Wilson, Director and General Manager at RG Carter said: “RG Carter is delighted to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this unique and innovative project. We look forward to starting work on this development, which will not only benefit the local community but will also create substantial investment for the local economy, for many years to come.”

Funding for the project is coming from Forest Heath District Council, the Department for Education, Suffolk County Council, Academy Transformation Trust, Sport England and Suffolk Police.

Susan Byles, Principal of Mildenhall College Academy said: “The Hub will provide the new school which young people in and around Mildenhall so richly deserve. The students will benefit not only from having a better educational setting but also from working with the other hub partners.”

Edward Thomas Estates Director for the Academy Transformation Trust said: “We are delighted to be embarking on the final part of this journey with RG Carter to deliver a unique and exemplary facility for the pupils and staff of Mildenhall college to continue to develop and achieve for years to come.”

Cllr Richard Smith, Cabinet Member for Finance at Suffolk County Council, said: “We are proud of our involvement in The Hub project. Not only will it be an important and popular community asset, but it represents the strength of collaborative working between our health, education and district council partners.”

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said: “This major development is an excellent example of joint working in Suffolk, something I have always been committed to as Police and Crime Commissioner. This collective approach not only provides much better value for money for the taxpayer but will benefit all the residents and businesses in the Forest Heath area of our county with improved service delivery through a joined up approach to public service which is just what’s required.”

Sport England’s Director of Capital Investment, Kevin Mills, said: “We are delighted to support the exciting Mildenhall Hub project with £2 million of funding. In line with Sport England’s design guidance, a range of partners is working together on the Hub to make the community’s life easier by bringing together a range of services in one place, such as a secondary school, council services, a library, leisure centre, health centre, community space, police station and DWP facilities. Sport England’s role is to make it easier for people to get active, and we know from the other co-location projects already in operation that the model prompts increases in visitor numbers, particularly from groups less likely to be active, such as women, disabled people and those with long term health conditions. We look forward to working with the partners to support the delivery of the Mildenhall Hub in the coming months.”

Ben Stoneman, OPE Regional Programme Manager, Local Government Association, said: “It is fantastic to hear that the building contractor has been selected and this major investment in public facilities is moving forward. As a One Public Estate project it will demonstrate what can be achieved when public bodies work together, and benefit the communities that they serve.”

Cllr James Waters, Leader of Forest Heath District Council said: “Today is a proud day and marks a major step towards delivering in our promise of better facilities for the people of Mildenhall and the surrounding villages. None of the partners in this project have been shy in being ambitious and wanting what’s best for our local residents. The Hub represents a unique and wonderful opportunity not just for education, leisure and health but for better collaboration between all public services. It is also making them more accessible to the public and collectively more resilient to the financial challenges that may come our way. It’s the blueprint for the future and I can’t wait to see it up and running.”