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Town Deal: 15 Ipswich town centre projects

We've been pleased to work with our Ipswich Vision partners, and a wider group of stakeholders, to develop a new investment plan.

In 2019, central Government announced that 100 locations, all with an established Vision, would be allocated up to £25million each to accelerate their delivery. Ipswich is amongst the 100.

Today we're announcing a shortlist of 15 projects which, following wider consultation, will be submitted to Government with a request for funding. These include investment in a new digital town centre, pedestrian & cycle bridge at the waterfront, completion of the St Peter’s Port development and a new music venue.

We want your feedback:

Email your thoughts about the proposed projects to:

These are the 15 proposed projects:

1. Redevelopment around Paul’s silo building
This project would create an attractive entrance to the Ipswich Waterfront, with the decontamination of the large former Paul’s silo and the installation of a climbing
wall on the outside of the building. Also, the pedestrian crossing on Stoke Bridge would be moved to the natural walking line, and a pleasant public space would be
created next to the Novotel roundabout, on the temporary car park next to the silo. The scheme would improve connectivity between the railway station and the
Waterfront, and from the Waterfront to the town centre.

2. Town centre provision for events, lighting and sound
This project would ensure the continuity of the annual town centre events programme, which has taken place over the last two years. In addition, the town centre
would benefit from a bespoke lighting and acoustic system - using key buildings and enabling innovative lighting, screening and sound projects. The aim would be
to design this so that much of the new infrastructure could be moved around the town to support events in a number of different places.

3. Pedestrian and cycle bridge at the Waterfront
This project would complete a circular route around Ipswich Wet Dock and help the broader regeneration of the Waterfront. It provides public access across the
lock on to the Island site via an attractive pedestrian and cycle bridge. The bridge would secure links to public rights of way and the scheme would include
signage to and from the bridge and around the Waterfront - creating a new Maritime Mile trail, with key features including the Isaac Lord complex, the University,
Spirit Yachts, the Custom House, and Dance East. It would be a catalyst to the regeneration of the Island site, where a second bridge will be funded (outside
Town Deal sources) to connect the east bank of the river to the west bank - allowing homes to be built on part of the Island site.

4. Old Post Office building
The Victorian, listed former Post Office is the most prominent vacant building in the town centre. Ipswich Borough Council is spending more than £600,000 restoring
the outside of the building and has found a potential tenant to use the building as a quality restaurant and bar. This project would help secure the new use - hopefully
to be open by the summer of 2021. This would provide a big boost for the town centre’s daytime and night-time economies.

5. Town centre regeneration fund
This is a fund to kick-start regeneration across the town centre, ready to respond to any opportunities which arise. It will allow vacant buildings - or vacant floorspace
- to be acquired, refurbished and re-let for uses which can stimulate development. This is likely to involve significant conversion from retail and commercial to
residential use. The fund will also support the re-use of historic buildings and the re-housing of local amenities.

6. Creating a digital town centre
This project would provide simple, useful information for users and visitors to the town centre - using technology to enhance experience. The digital town centre will
identify, for example, which car park spaces are free, or allow you to pre-buy other types of travel tickets. You will be able to pre-book a restaurant table, theatre
and cinema tickets, or a hotel room. You will be able to access digital trails, discovering Ipswich’s hidden gems. Augmented reality will bring to life culture and
heritage, allowing you to see inside the town’s most treasured buildings. This will be easily accessible in your home or while in town, via mobile, tablet, or computer,
using your own mobile data, or new, free wi-fi, replicated on new town centre digital screens.

7. Town centre health clinic

This project would secure a building to be used as a patient/visitor base for health and well-being services. This would help to change the role of the town centre
and increase the amount of services located centrally which people need as a key part of their lives.

8. Academy of yacht building
In partnership with internationally renowned Spirit Yachts, this project would create a world-leading academy, teaching the next generation of craftsmen and women
all aspects of modern yacht construction to an unrivalled standard. Working with the University of Suffolk, Suffolk New College, and Associated British Ports, the
academy would offer a two-year course for local young people, and a leisure learning programme. Skills learned would transfer to many occupations. The funding
would enable refurbishment of a long-vacant heritage building (Public Warehouse No 1) on the Waterfront ‘Island Site’ as a base for the academy.

9. Public realm improvements including public art
Ipswich Borough Council has committed to spend £1.5m on improving public area in the town centre, ie. Arras Square, Majors Corner and the southern part of
Lloyd’s Avenue. This is conditional on match funding being secured. These three sites came top in recent public consultation for areas needing improvement.
Schemes could include a landmark piece of public art.

10. River cycle path
This project would complete the cycle path from Princes Street bridge, near the walkway station, to the borough boundary at the railway line at Sproughton. It would
complete the missing “off-road” link of the cycle route between West End Road, at the junction with Constantine Road, and Yarmouth Road, where it crosses the
River Gilping. This project involves securing the land and providing the path.

11. Integrated care academy
This project would help to deliver an Integrated Care Academy at the University of Suffolk focused on improving the health of our population. The academy will be
a centre of excellence for integrating health and social care practices, improving productivity, driving innovation and increasing the skills available. It will promote
the importance of teams and leaders, working together to improve the experience of patients and staff. It will help to deliver a highly skilled graduate workforce -
each year providing 200 qualified nurses, 20 physiotherapists, and 50 paramedics. It will also provide clinics in physiotherapist, counselling, psychotherapy, and
sports, which can be booked by the general public.

12. Tech campus and sustainable construction centre
Suffolk New College will launch its new Tech Campus in 2021/22, seeing an expansion of its digital provision. The Tech Campus will enable young people, adults
and employees to access a wide range of digital and technical courses. Successful students at the Tech Academy will be ideal to progress on to higher level
qualifications. Transformation of spaces and equipment at the college site will make this possible. After successful achievement of their high-level digital courses,
students will be able to progress to the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, supporting new entrepreneurs and ICT businesses. Separately, the project would
enable the college to invest in facilities and equipment to offer courses focused on sustainable construction, helping the construction industry in decarbonisation
and reducing environmental impact.

13. Princes Street public space
A multi-storey car park is to be built between Princes Street and the ITFC football ground. This includes the creation of a public square serving surrounding buildings
with seating and landscaping. The square will improve public pedestrian and cycle access between the railway station, nearby offices, and the town centre. Funding
will deliver the public space, with EV charging points, public art, and accessible routes.

14. Music venue
This project would see the creation of a mid-sized music venue using vacant space in the town centre. The Music Venues Trust says Ipswich is the largest town
without such a venue. The Arts Council and music promoters have identified the need for a venue “for theatre, dance and comedy alongside live music.” The venue
would create jobs and support the existing strong music and performing arts scene.

15. Local shopping parades regeneration fund
This fund will support economic regeneration and growth, deliver public realm improvements, and help to develop a sense of pride in many of Ipswich’s diverse
local communities. It will help renovate the facades of local shops, and improve pedestrian access, create better parking, and enable tree planting. It will help create
a greater sense of community pride in local shopping parades, making them more attractive places to shop and visit. The scheme will be of greatest benefit to some
of the town’s most deprived areas, including Chantry and Whitehouse. The fund will initially aim to support 10-12 local shopping parades.

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