From the blog

From Street Rangers making the town a safer place to instigating a Vision for change, what Ipswich Central has done for you…

By Paul Clement

Ipswich Central is a Business Improvement District (BID). There are now over 240 BIDs in the UK, here each providing dedicated, ampoule additional services on behalf of businesses in clearly defined areas. In Ipswich that is our town centre.

Each BID term can be for a maximum of five years, after which businesses are asked to approve the BID for a renewed term by way of a ballot. In Ipswich, our next renewal is scheduled for this October and November.

Through good economic times, and some not so good, I have been proud of what the Ipswich BID has achieved. From Street Rangers proactively making the town safer and more welcoming, to the ‘All About Ipswich’ website showcasing the town to some 25,000 visitors a month; from schools decorating the streets in the summer with their own planting displays, to new Christmas decorations in the winter; from promotions such as Forknight that promote the town’s diverse culinary offering, to campaigns such as the current #ItsMyStreet, helping to keep our streets cleaner.

And then, of course, there has been our role in instigating the Vision project through which the BID and its partners are physically turning the town around through a range of multi-million pound projects, including the Cornhill Square improvements, the Upper Orwell Crossing, a high-quality office corridor in Princes Street, the building of 2,500 new homes and strategies to improve the retail and car parking offers.

I could go on and on and on.

Ahead of this renewal ballot, I want to thank every business within the town centre that has supported our work. Their investment is being repaid many times over and each can be proud of their contribution to a town centre that is now improving at a rate not seen in many decades and is the envy of others up and down the country.

The next five years will be crucial. Now is not the time for businesses to lose confidence, step back or change direction. We have a plan and we must finish the job.

A similar article appeared in Business East on Friday 19 August 2016