Two new roads have been officially opened in Ipswich today (Thursday 1st November) as part of the development of Futura Park, Ipswich’s major new retail and business park. The Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Mary Blake cut the ribbon to mark the opening of James Bennett Avenue and Crane Boulevard, which run alongside the new combined flagship John Lewis at home and Waitrose store which opens to the public next week.Futura Park is the regeneration of a redundant 44-acre industrial site between Ransomes Way and Nacton Road. The names of the new roads are chosen as a nod to the site’s history. Crane Boulevard, which connects with Nacton Road, is named after Crane Co of Chicago, the engineering company that bought the site in 1919 and operated a foundry there for 83 years. James Bennett Avenue, which links with Ransomes Way, is named after the engineer who established Crane Co’s UK operations during the 1920s. The foundry closed in 2008 when production was moved to China.
For shoppers travelling by public transport, a new bus stop has been created within Futura Park on the Ipswich Buses X3 route, which runs from Ipswich city centre to Ravenswood with seven buses an hour in each direction.
The Mayoral party, which also included Cllr David Ellesmere, Leader of the Council and other local Councillors, arrived at the Futura Park site on an X3 bus and were met by Tony Chambers, Chairman of developer AquiGen for the launch ceremony.
Tony Chambers commented: “The opening of these new roads is an important step in bringing public access into an area of land which had been run down and derelict. We are excited to be bringing this site back to life and we are looking forward to welcoming the public to Futura Park.”The Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Mary Blake, commented: “Futura Park is an impressive development in terms of its scale and ambition and we are delighted that it will bring new jobs and businesses to Ipswich. I am pleased to open the two new roads within the Futura Park site and I am grateful to AquiGen and everyone else involved for their hard work in making the development plans a reality.”
The first phase of the development is the soon to open Waitrose and John Lewis at home store, and further retail space and 25 acres of land for offices, warehousing and industrial space are also being created. It is predicted the scheme will boost local employment with the creation of around 1,500 jobs. AquiGen is constructing additional infrastructure, extensive landscaping, open spaces and new trees to support local wildlife, to ensure Futura Park becomes a vibrant and attractive place for people to shop or work.