Ipswich Central's ‘Connected Town’ area and concept has been chosen to participate in a pilot scheme for Community Improvement Districts (CIDs).
Power to Change, a Charitable Trust created in 2015 with a £150 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund to support community businesses in England, has chosen Ipswich as one of five national pilots. This follows its report of October 2020 in which it highlighted the opportunity for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to extend their scope to include wider community participation in the management and strategic direction of town and city centres.
The award of pilot status brings with it £20,000 which will be used to establish a new Connected Town Taskforce, to be led by Ipswich Central’s chair, Terry Baxter. The group will consist of businesses, residents, community organisations, educational institutions, local authorities, faith groups, community groups and CICs. Together, they will develop proposals for the progression of the Connected Town concept which prioritises more people living in and around the town centre and having around them everything they need to live their lives locally and to the full.
Terry Baxter comments: “I am delighted that the Ipswich model has been selected as one of places in the pilot scheme. Our intention is to develop processes and create learnings that we can use ourselves, but which will also be available to other towns and cities in the future."
"The Community Improvement District model is an interesting one and we are looking forward to learning more as we work with Power to Change and a broad range of local stakeholders. The Taskforce will have the freedom to think big, to challenge conventions and to develop exciting plans for Ipswich.”
The other four pilot locations are Skelmersdale, Hendon, Stretford and Wolverton.