New visitor centre and café set to make a splash at Needham Lake
Later this year, visitors to Needham Lake, one of the region’s most visited free tourist attractions, will be able to enjoy a range of brand-new facilities including a new café with outdoor seating, a community events space and an accessible Changing Places facility.
Mid Suffolk District Council has announced that the project to develop the new and improved facilities at Needham Lake will be delivered by local building firm SEH French Limited following a detailed procurement process.
The new building has been designed to complement the surrounding natural environment and meets Mid Suffolk District Councils’ climate change ambitions with several green features. These include solar panels, sustainable drainage, air source heat pumps and procuring sustainable building materials wherever possible.
The café will be run by the team behind Cabbages and Kings the popular café at The Mix in Stowmarket. The café’s seasonal menu will offer a range of refreshments, snacks and hot meals as well as ice-creams and cakes.
The introduction of a Changing Places facility will mean that Needham Lake will be more accessible people with disabilities.
The local community will have even more reason to visit Needham Lake with a new flexible event space that will be available for community-based events.
Cllr Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for communities, health, and wellbeing said:
“We are delighted to be working with a local Suffolk-based contractor to deliver a high quality and highly sustainable building in the heart of one of our region’s most popular attractions. The new café and visitor centre will not only enhance the visitor experience but will also add to Needham Lake’s already great reputation.”
Simon Girling, director at SEH French Limited said:
“We are thrilled to have been selected to work on this exciting new project. We are looking forward to working with Mid Suffolk District Council to bring their innovative plans to life and provide a new facility for the local community in Needham Market and beyond.”
Keith Myers, Manager of Cabbages and Kings said:
“We are really excited that the new café and visitor centre at Needham Lake has taken a step forward. Over the summer we operated a refreshment kiosk and enjoyed getting to know many of the regular visitors. We are looking forward to welcoming local residents and visitors to enjoy the new café facilities.”
This important development of the Needham Lake site is part of the ongoing Invest in Needham Market programme, which aims to bring partners together to deliver key projects to build strength and resilience in the local economy and support the community’s ambitions.
In addition to the Needham Lake café and visitor centre, the programme includes improving the connectivity between Needham Lake and the town as well as the development of new homes at the former Mid Suffolk District Council Headquarters and Middle School sites.