New name for Needham Lake café and visitor centre announced

Cllr Julie Flatman (front) was joined by other Mid Suffolk District Council councillors and representatives from The Mix and SEH French. (Photo: MSDC Credit: Gregg Brown Photography)

Councillors have marked the ‘topping out’ of the new Needham Lake café and visitor centre and announced the name will be Duck & Teapot following a public vote.

Just under 2000 people took time to cast a vote for their favourite name with almost half (1031) choosing Duck & Teapot followed by 679 for The Swan’s Nest and just 225 for Quacker’s Café.

Once completed, Duck & Teapot will offer visitors a range of refreshments and freshly cooked meals, snacks and cakes, all in the relaxing setting of Needham Lake while the visitor centre will be a flexible community event space. 

As Mid Suffolk’s most popular free attraction, Needham Lake provides an open space for families and visitors to get close to nature, exercise or to enjoy the open space. 

The building itself has been designed to complement the surrounding natural environment and meets Mid Suffolk District Councils’ climate change ambitions with several green features including the introduction of bird boxes, solar panels, sustainable drainage, an air source heat pump and uses sustainable building materials as part of the build.

There will be a choice of indoor and outdoor seating meaning that the Duck & Teapot can be enjoyed throughout the year and the introduction of a Changing Places facility Needham Lake will be more accessible for people with disabilities.

The new café and visitor centre is due for completion in the coming weeks with an official opening planned for early 2022. 

Cllr Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for communities said: “I am delighted that so many people took the time to vote for their favourite name for the café and visitor centre. Duck & Teapot is a quirky and memorable name and reflects the setting close to Needham Lake. 

“The topping out marks an important milestone in the development, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the opening in the new year.”

The Duck & Teapot will be managed by the team behind Cabbages and Kings, the popular café at The Mix in Stowmarket.

Dave Pepper Director of Cabbages and Kings and CEO of the Mix commented: “We can now begin to feel what the completed Café will be like and are really excited about welcoming people in and making the venue a fantastic addition for everyone who visits Needham Lakes.”  

The development at Needham Lake is part of Mid Suffolk District Council’s Invest in Needham Market programme which aims to deliver projects to support the town and create places with bright and healthy futures that everyone is proud to call home.

The Needham Lake café and visitor centre is being delivered by local building firm SEH French Limited. 

Simon Girling, Director of SEH French, said: “The team at SEH French are incredibly proud to be working on this project in such a beautiful part of the county. It’s great to now know the name of the new visitor centre and café which, without a doubt, will become a regular destination for residents and visitors alike.  

“We’d like to thank Mid Suffolk District Council for the opportunity to provide this fantastic facility for the community, as well as the public for choosing its name.”

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