Major players in Ipswich have today come together to agree a Vision for Ipswich.
The agreed Vision evolved from an original plan drafted by Ipswich Central in 2013 and was advanced in May this year. It has now been agreed upon unanimously by significant partners and will be driven forward following the formation of the Vision for Ipswich Board.
Terry Baxter, Chairman of Ipswich Central said: “I am incredibly proud that the decision by the management and Board of Ipswich Central earlier this year, to commission a draft Vision document for the strategic regeneration of this town, has been such a catalyst for change.
“For many years Ipswich has been criticised for failing to have a single plan for its regeneration – a ‘Vision’ that unites private and public sectors and a willingness by all parties, irrespective of their differences, to work together for the town and its people. Well, today we have that plan and not only that, but a clear list of priorities that have been identified as ‘key’ to the turnaround of the county town, a timetable for achieving these projects, AND a firm commitment by all parties who have signed up to this Vision to be held to account as we strive to achieve these targets.”
This agreement means that the people of Ipswich, who are already noticing visible change in the town centre, will soon benefit from a revitalised town.
With construction work already taking place on the town’s shopping centres and at various locations across the town, Ipswich will be able to provide retail accommodation for national brands currently missing from the high street.
The plans also draw on the need for further housing in the town centre, with the potential to provide around 2,000 new homes, as well as the need for high specification office space to attract businesses to the area.
Parking is also acknowledged in the document and new facilities will be provided which are of a high quality and in better locations. Public transport will also improve and work will be done to merge the two bus stations and improve the train station forecourt.
Following the announcement, Ben Gummer MP, said: “This is an important moment for the town. For the first time in decades, everyone has come together to support a plan for the restoration and rejuvenation of our town centre. A plan devised by Ipswich businesses and supported by all partners, councils, the university, the Chamber of Commerce, business organisations and by me. It has been hard work getting to this stage but we now have an even tougher task ahead: to make this Vision a reality. We have made some extremely ambitious commitments and it is our duty now to the people of Ipswich to deliver them.”
The Vision also received further support from Mark Pendlington, Chairman, of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, who will also Chair the Vision for Ipswich Board. He said: “This vision offers a bold and exciting ambition that will ensure Ipswich is a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and do business for many generations to come. A county town that can compete and win against the UK’s best.
“We are delighted to have played a part in bringing all parties around the table for the first time. It is that strength of collaboration and shared sense of responsibility that will drive this project from paper to real material changes for the town.”