Hopes of a new £2.4m sports ground complex for Stowmarket could get a big boost in January from Mid Suffolk Council.

Its cabinet will be asked to approve a full business case for delivery of the first work package of the Stowmarket Health, Education and Leisure Facilities (SHELF) project.

The initial works also include an improved pitch for Stowmarket Rugby Club, community running track, cricket nets and additional paths and fencing.

The cabinet, which meets on January 9, will consider a recommendation to put £450,000 towards the £2.4million scheme, with the remaining funding already identified from a range of external sources alongside Section 106 contributions.

The proposals focus on land surrounding Stowmarket High School and Chilton Fields after the council found that increased and better facilities were needed in the town.

The new facilities would be available for use by residents, sports groups and clubs as well as schools.

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Tim Weller, cabinet member for environment.Cllr Tim Weller, cabinet member for environment. (Image: Mid Suffolk District Council)

 Tim Weller, cabinet member for environment, culture and wellbeing said: “We are excited about these first plans for delivery which will offer improved sporting facilities to help Stowmarket’s growing population be more active.

“Over time, this project has evolved to include different facilities designed to benefit the health and wellbeing of the local community. We’ve listened to what people want.

“We plan to deliver this ambitious scheme over a number of stages, which is not unusual for something of this scale, but people will see from the first works proposed just how significant these improvements will be.”

The proposed masterplan has been developed in partnership with key stakeholders including Suffolk County Council, Stowmarket Town Council, local schools, the leisure centre, the NHS, Active Suffolk, local sports clubs, the Football Foundation and Sport England.

A detailed planning application for the first work package will be considered early in 2024, alongside outline plans for the subsequent stages.