Ipswich Central and All About Ipswich have joined forces with their Vision partners to launch a bold, new strategy for the town centre.
The plan is to create the UK’s first truly ‘connected town centre’, a progression of the internationally recognised model known as the ’15-minute city’. It will mean a significant growth in the number of people living in the town centre with commitments to encourage new housing development on unused sites and by converting redundant buildings and empty upper floors. Alongside this, and to encourage more urban living, the plan is to introduce uses that will encourage people to live and stay locally. These might include schools and educational facilities, a music venue, an outdoor gym, and more green areas, cycling and walking routes.
The plan is to also involve neighbourhood shopping parades such as Norwich Road, a realisation that new forms of hybrid working will lead to a greater dependency upon local amenities. It also develops the town centre’s role as a place to live for commuters to London who will increasingly work more from home and as a destination for people staying locally and choosing Ipswich and Suffolk as a place to visit.
Celebrating the launch, the Chair of Ipswich Central, Terry Baxter, said: “This is a bold plan which recognises that in the new, post-covid world, our town centre will need to rely less upon retail and develop a new purpose as a place to live and visit. This new strategy for Ipswich commits to many more people living centrally and having around them all that they will need to live their lives locally. It is exceptionally ambitious and demonstrates that, once again, we are ahead of the game. Not only have all partners signed-up to the strategy, but we also have £25 million from the government’s Town Fund to help kick-start the revival. I want to thank our Vision partners for working so hard with us to develop this plan.”
Professor Dave Muller, Chair of All About Ipswich, added: “The leisure, entertainment and hospitality sectors have been hard hit by the pandemic. But, as businesses in and around the town start to reopen, they will recognise that this plan will help to define Ipswich as an accessible, convenient and connected place to visit and stay.”
View the Ipswich Vision Strategy Documents...