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Delphi Centre threat

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Another iconic building in Sudbury may face the axe after it was revealed this week the Delphi Centre is under threat of closure.

As the battle to retain Belle Vue House rages on, with a bid to make it a listed building, Sudbury Town Council is looking for a long-term solution for the Delphi Centre.

The Newton Road social hub needs hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on it for essential repairs.

Sudbury has leased the 1960s building – used for tea dances and social events, the Sudbury Carnival and football matches – from Delphi Diesel Systems for the past nine years.

But the substantial capital spending needed to bring it up to scratch has left the council with no alternative but to look at different options for its future.

Mayor Jack Owen said the Delphi Centre was a Sudbury institution which scores of residents have used as a their main social centre. He added: “It would be an almighty shame if it closes because of a lack of enthusiasm by townspeople to want it to survive.

“It has a fantastic dance floor, a keep-fit and gym area, football pitches and good toilets.

“But it needs a lot of money spent on it and some people argue that is not a good use of residents’ money.

“What we need is for Delphi to gift it to the town, and then find someone to take it on and keep it going.”

Town councillors recently decided to renew its lease for another year to finish in March 2017.

In the meantime, town clerk Jacqui Howells is to present to councillors an “exit strategy” for withdrawing from the lease with Delphi at a full meeting in September.

And an option for the council to buy the centre will also be investigated.

Councillors are looking for proposals from other organisations willing to take over the lease.

Mrs Howells said: “A comprehensive report had been commissioned evaluating the centre which identified that a substantial amount of capital spending, potentially a six- figure sum, would be needed to make essential repairs.

“Councillors considered the social benefits to the community, but also the responsibility they have for making the best use of ratepayers’ money.”

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