Ambitious plans have been announced to transform the sleepy Suffolk market town of Sudbury into a leisure and entertainment mecca to rival Las Vegas.
Often called “The Jewel of the Stour Valley”, in recent years Sudbury has started to lose some of its lustre, something the initiative backed wholeheartedly by Suffolk County Council hopes to reverse.
The plan, which is anticipated to be put into action as soon as 2029, will see large areas of the town demolished to make way for a number of super casinos and an 80,000 seater entertainment centre. The latter will be located where the Quay Theatre currently stands and will represent a considerable increase in its current 125-seat capacity.
Viva Las Sudbury!
Other features that are hoped will draw in visitors not just from East Anglia but from across the world will be half-size recreations of both the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Pompeii before its devastation in 79AD.
Lorraine Fisher, 34, Gurney, a councillor for the Great Cornard ward, told reporters at the press launch of the proposals: “Up until now, the major draw for visitors to Sudbury has been the twice-weekly market along with the chance to see the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough.
“While these are undoubtedly appealing to certain sectors of society, they will be knocked into a cocked hat by the attractions we have planned.”
The announcement has received mixed reactions from Sudbury residents whose opinions have been canvassed. Car parking is an obvious issue with the feeling that it’s often hard enough to find a space in the town even without the additional 3 million visitors projected to arrive each year.
Standing room only
It also seems like the 237, 700, 751 bus services will be overwhelmed by the influx of visitors, with probably no seats available for anyone attempting to board in Glemsford or Long Melford.
Many local residents have expressed scepticism as to whether there really is even a need for casinos in Sudbury. One gentleman, Roger Scoffit, has written to the Suffolk Free Press. He claimed that, while land-based casinos have their place in certain locations, when people want to find casinos in Sudbury they generally turn to an article by Bonusfinder UK, where they can easily identify the online casinos offering the best bonuses and offers.
He added: “Moreover, I can play from the comfort of my Borley home without having to dress up in my Sunday best as if I was heading into the bright lights of Ipswich for the night.”
Restaurateurs are also concerned that their trade may be affected when resort hotels offering international cuisine 24 hours a day become a feature of the town. One, who asked to remain anonymous, has gone on the record as saying that this could make the last earthquake to hit the town’s restaurant scene, the opening of the McDonalds on the Chilton Industrial Estate, seem like a storm in a teacup.
So, it seems like there may be many obstacles to overcome before everyone gives the green light to the plans. But rest assured that the more forward-thinking Haverhill will be keen to seize on the opportunity if a new location is required.
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