Construction work on St Nicholas Hospice Care’s first community outreach centre, in Haverhill, is due to start within weeks.
The lease on the Burton Centre, in Camps Road, was signed by the hospice and Suffolk County Council at the end of last moth, meaning the builders can move on to the site in early December.
The hospice will turn the building into an outreach centre where people and families living with life-shortening illnesses will access a range of services without having to travel to the hospice’s main site in Bury St Edmunds..
In April, the hospice was awarded £326,488 in Department of Health grant funding to enable it to convert the building.
Construction work will include installing a new wheelchair lift to give better access to the first floor.
The building and its facilities – including meeting rooms, activities space and offices – will be available to current users of the building and the public by prior arrangement.
Kevin Clements, hospice director of fundraising and marketing, said: “We are delighted that we are now in a position to start work on transforming the Burton Centre into an outreach centre which will benefit the whole Haverhill community.
“We are aiming for building works to be completed in spring next year.”
Barbara Gale, hospice chief executive, said: “Our development of the Burton Centre will be the first hospice outreach centre in west Suffolk. We have chosen the town because of its large population and its growing need for more services for those at the end of their lives.”
Learning disability support organisation Leading Lives, which operated the Sunflower Café in the Burton Centre, has now decided to close the café and has donated all its industrial equipment to the hospice, which may open a public café later.
Haverhill Library will continue to occupy and operate from its half of the building while the registrars’ service will also remain in the building.