Community Enterprise Initiative at 'The Rec'
If you’ve passed by, or visited, the Recreation Ground over the last few days you will have noticed some construction activity taking place. The foundations are now in place ready for the building phase for the new Community Café.
With end of May/early June as the target launch date, @therec (as it will be called) is a great project of sustainable development with the dual aim of providing a much-needed café and improved toilet facility as well as delivering enterprise and business support services for the Stowmarket Community.
Working in partnership with MENTA, the Suffolk Enterprise Agency, we firmly believe that this is a positive step forward in enabling people of Stowmarket a chance to unlock their potential and develop career opportunities whilst appreciating green spaces.
The building itself is going to be constructed from two recycled shipping containers. Container architecture is nothing new, resourceful people have been living in repurposed shipping containers for decades – you may well have heard of, or even seen, Container City or the Riverside Building in London. Reusable shipping containers provide a cost effective and sustainable approach to building design. The big metal boxes are dry, fire resistant and quite readily available. The pressure is on society commercially regarding our responsibility of sourcing raw materials and our conscience of building materials. The premise of container architecture is that new containers have had a prior life, albeit very brief. Previously used units, normally around 10 years old, will have covered their initial manufacturing and carbon footprint literally hundreds of times over before they are even selected for conversion.
All of the basic conversion such as entrance, exit and security doors, glazing, electrical distribution, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, high quality painted finish, floor covering and furniture are pre-designed so can be implemented immediately on demand
The Recreation Ground, over the last few years has undergone various improvements, including the installation of a new play area, a skatepark, ballpark and CCTV camera so the addition of a café, new toilet facilities and enterprise support is the next phase of the development plan.
David Blackburn, Town Clerk said: “The Community Café is an ‘invest to save’ project, that will see the recovery of the initial build costs through reduced operating costs over a period of 5 years. Rather than spend money on the existing toilet block at the recreation ground, an innovative solution has been sought to provide new amenities, new opportunities and reduce running costs.” He continued: “We have been working closely with MENTA, the Suffolk Enterprise Agency, over the delivery of the project and we believe that they have the expertise to operate the new facility successfully once it has been completed.”
Combs Ford Play Area
The start of the Easter holidays saw the opening of the new Glemsford Road Play Area in Combs Ford.
The new play area, which was jointly funded by the Town Council and Mid Suffolk District Council's section 106 funding, was opened by Stowmarket Town Mayor, Councillor Mrs Vera Waspe. The first children to enjoy the play equipment were the children of Combs Ford Primary who decided on the Farmyard theme and chose which play equipment they would like to see there.
Town Clerk, David Blackburn, said "this play park was desperately in need of updating and we wanted to make sure that it would be used and loved by the whole community so we were grateful for the enthuastic input from the school".
The play park, which is situated within 100 metres of the school, provides a great facility for the school children and the wider community as the weather warms up over the coming months.
Community Governance Review
The Town Council has made its submission to Mid Suffolk District Council in respect of the Community Governance Review of Stowmarket and its neighbouring parishes.
The submission documents can be found below:
Application for a Trading Permit
The Town Council has received an application for a Trading Permission for an Ice Cream Van to trade in the Market Place for six days a week.
A copy of the Application Form can be found here.
The deadline for comments is Thursday, 1st May, 2014.
Re-Launch for Popular Music Event
Stowmarket's popular annual community festival, StowFest has been given a major re-brand for 2014. Launched in 2007, it has become a firm fixture in the Suffolk festival calendar and a valuable platform for local charities to fund raise and increase their profile, but organisersStowmarket Town Council are always looking at ways of making the festival bigger and better.
Over the years, there have been various changes, from change of venue to the move from one to two days. This year will see the event, which takes place on the evening of Friday 20th June and throughout Saturday 21st June, evolve into StowFiesta which the Town Council promise will feature all the great live music of StowFest and much more.
"We're proud of our reputation for putting on great live music - but we felt there was scope to appeal to more people, particularly families," said David Marsh, Events & Theatre Manager at Stowmarket Town Council. "Therefore, StowFiesta will feature stand-up comedy, punch and judy, local dance acts, circus skills, plus much more - and it's all free. We've even made the car parking free this year!"The Friday night will be compered by local comedian Richard Whymark and will feature a performance from stand-up comedian Danny Ward with live music from the brilliant piano driven trio, Zoom Club. Danny Ward is a favourite on the London comedy circuit and won the coveted ‘Best Show’ award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.David is quick to reassure music lovers that StowFiesta is still very much an event that they will enjoy. “Stowfest was extremely popular with the region’s music lovers, so we’re not going to mess with that, but in addition to the original music stages, we’ll have a stage exclusively for cover bands and tribute acts”.
"We've got some amazing bands from all over the country on the bill, plus the cream of the local music scene! There's a great mix of original bands and covers bands to cater for everyone. We've also got the Amplitude Stage featuring young bands form the Amplitude project which is always really popular."Amongst the bands confirmed are the East Anglian based Ska'd 4 Life, Tallowah, East Town Pirates, Walkway, Stiff in the Morning, Voodoo Child and The Dirty Fairies - plus acts from further field including funk band Mojo Jojo from Brighton, indie rockers Finding Albert from Edinburgh and heavy dance rock outfit The Onironauts.
Do you have any questions about what services your Town Council can provide, or what alternative solutions are available to you? We are currently in the process of producing a number of Community Factsheets to answer all of your frequently asked questions from littering to parking, available to view online! To view our current Factsheets, please click here
The Railway Man
Friday 17th January saw The Regal turn into Leicester Square for the day and play host to a very special screening of The Railway Man, complete with red carpet. The day was held in honour of a very special guest, Roland Baker, an ex POW from the Suffolk Regiment who was captured and forced to work on the Death Railway during WWII.
Unlike many others, Roland survived this horrific ordeal and was invited to the London Premiere but unfortunately he was unable to attend. After calling The Regal and telling his story to Office Manager Sarah Page, it was decided that if he couldn’t get to the red carpet, the red carpet would come to him.
As well as Roland, we had two further guests attending from the Suffolk Regiment, Frank Kerridge and Puggey Wells who were also forced to work on the exact same railway.
At the screening, local celebrity Roy Hudd was on hand to keep the guests entertained before the film began. Sarah Page, Office Manager said “The day couldn’t have gone better. Roland was treated like a VIP and he enjoyed his day. We had a full house, and we have received such positive feedback about the event.” A collection for the Suffolk Regiment Old Comrades Association was held after the screening and £113.55 was raised.
The Railway Man is still showing at The Regal until 30th January, and will be back from the 11th – 13th February. Due to the popularity of this film it is advisable to book, either by calling the box office on 01449 612825 or booking online at www.regalstowmarket.co.uk
Stowmarket online "Community Notice Board" - right here!