Work starts on £600,000 play centre

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WORK on a new £600,000 children’s soft play area for Sudbury – to be called Little Kingfishers – is under way with the a 2012 opening planned.

The new play area for children under eight years old is being built as part of the Station Road-based Kingfisher Leisure Centre complex, which is owned by Babergh District Council and run by South Suffolk Leisure.

Plans were given the go-ahead in July and a sod-cutting ceremony was held recently as contractors R G Carter moved on site and the first turf was lifted to start work. It should be completed in early February.

The centre will incorporate twin wavy and spiral slides, log ramps, crawl tubes and a toddler pit for the youngest users.

There will also be a contemporary coffee shop with access to a patio overlooking the water meadows.

South Suffolk Leisure chief executive Tracey Copping said: “It will be a great place for children to climb, run, jump, play and have fun.

Little Kingfishers will be a place for our youngest users to have fun while offering mum and dad somewhere to relax and enjoy a coffee while watching their children play.”

The work at the leisure centre will also include a new porch and lobby, improving access to the existing facilities.

South Suffolk Leisure has set aside £500,000 for the work and Babergh is providing a further £100,000 which has come from section 106 money – cash donations to offset the impact of developments – given to the council by Tesco when the Springlands Way store was redeveloped.

Councillor David Wood, chairman of Babergh District Council, who took part in the sod-cutting ceremony, said: “Babergh is absolutely delighted to be able to financially contribute to this great fun-packed facility which will make a further contribution to our aim to have a safer and healthier district.”