A message from Terry Baxter, Chair of Ipswich Central...
Our April ‘Reviving Town & City Centres’ conference was seen by over 1,500 people and launched the concept for a new type of ‘Connected Town’ centre in Ipswich. It attracted huge, national and international attention and engendered local support, with over 2,250 people contributing to a major consultation exercise.
Post-COVID, the future for all town centres has materially changed. Our plan, shared with our Vision partners, is for a
town centre in which more people live. Consequently, different types of use for space result, and more visitors are attracted because they want to (as opposed to need to) be part of a wider experience.
Alongside the £25 million Town Deal investment, this plan sets out our own planned contribution to delivering the ‘Connected Town’ centre, including:
- A Digital Ipswich platform including booking facilities, free wi-fi, information screens, visitor trails and augmented reality experiences
- Creation of Oasis Green Spaces stretching between the waterfront and the town centre which will improve air quality whilst providing new visitor experiences
- More events on the Cornhill Square
- A new, digital Gift Card scheme, encouraging visits and putting money directly into your tills
- A new RadioLink system linking businesses with Rangers, Police and annual contributions to improve CCTV provision
- An additional Street Ranger to keep your staff and visitors safe and to drive out stock loss
- Creation of a new, Stoke Bridge visitor viewing gallery, including interactive digital signage at the founding site of the town
- The creation of the Ipswich Letters installation which will move around the town, creating multiple “instagrammable” moments to be shared proudly around the world
- Improvements to expand the reach and impact of the All About Ipswich platform
- Formation of a new Indie Ipswich group and allocation of £100,000 to support the independent sector
- Creation of a new Building Ipswich group to bring forward new, residential development
- An international celebration of the 550th year since Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the town’s most famous son, was born
In five years time, the town centre must be transformed. This plan puts people at the centre of that change and, thereby, creates a new and relevant purpose for the place. Delivering this scale of transformation will require strong and strategic leadership. Your BID will provide that leadership on your behalf. We will work even harder for you and, when necessary, we will shout louder on your behalf.
But, for now, it is over to you. You will soon receive a ballot paper for any property that you are responsible for. This gives you a chance to vote ‘YES’ to support our plan and, on behalf of the BID Board and the wider Ipswich town centre community, I want to take this opportunity to ask you to do so.
So, please support our plan. Your vote will make a huge difference to the town and to all in its community.
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