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Green Britain Centre to welcome green industry employees in Swaffham as councillor discusses leisure plan pitfalls

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A district councillor has explained why plans for a leisure centre at a former eco centre were not feasible.

Speaking during this week’s Swaffham Town Council meeting, Breckland’s executive member for contracts and assets, Paul Hewett, said it would have been difficult to convert the Green Britain Centre into a sport and leisure provision.

He said the whole heating and cooling system would have had to be changed, as well as the glazing if the town council’s desired land swap had gone ahead.

The Green Britain Centre at Swaffham
The Green Britain Centre at Swaffham

Mr Hewett also said the land surrounding the Turbine Way site was limited and lacked space for the project. He suggested other sites in Swaffham were more favourable for the leisure aspiration.

Mr Hewett said there would be ring-fence sale proceeds for a leisure provision.

The Green Britain Centre has been sold to an international businesses instead and it is understood this could create 65 employees in the green industry.

Mr Hewett said: “From the outside, this should be seen as good news for the town. The new employer fits with the eco credentials of the Green Britain Centre.

“It’s also a frustrating time for those who spent hundreds of hours and to Jill Skinner [mayor] for the absolute personal commitment you have made in person and online, trying to build a consensus going forward.”

The name of the business which has purchased the building has not been revealed at this stage but it has been operational for more than 25 years and is looking to expand.

There will initially be 25 staff at the site with a further 65 posts over the next few years.

During this week’s council meeting, councillor Paul Darby said: “I am saddened we could not bring it off [the land swap]. I still think it could have been right for the town and we should not doubt all the effort put in to try and get this in place for Swaffham in the way of leisure.

“I know a lot of people did not agree but it was the right thing to do.”

Councillor Graham Edwards said: “I am delighted we have a serious employer moving in to the town.”

He added that it was the “perfect outcome”.

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