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Project to complete Ipswich “Winerack’’ building will go ahead, says developer

PUBLISHED: 07:20 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:25 22 September 2017

A cgi of how the completed Winerack could look

A cgi of how the completed Winerack could look

Archant

The £20million project to complete the infamous ‘Winerack’ development in Ipswich will go ahead - but not until January, the developer behind the scheme has confirmed.

The future of the skeleton structure - which has stood practically untouched since 2008 - became a symbol of the recession and has long been a hot topic across the town.

Development was set to continue this month, however delays with contracts have stalled the proceedings.

John Howard, from Ipswich Wharf Developments which has been spearheading the project, said the plan to rescue and complete the building would happen, with construction work set to start in January 2018.

It will bring 149 homes and 5,000sq ft of commercial space to the heart of the town.

“We are in the final stages of agreeing the contracts with the builder,” he said. “They should be signed very soon, with a view to getting under way in January.

“It has been a long time coming, and we have all worked very hard to make the project happen.

“A bit more patience is required but we are getting very close. It is going to happen.”

The Winerack was part of the Regatta Quay development, and was left unfinished when developers City Living went into administration.

Mr Howard previously told this paper that he intended to retain the Winerack name, coined by the Ipswich Star.

Completion will cost £20m, £15m of which is coming from the Homes & Communities Agency, under its Home Building Fund.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) has committed another £5m through its Growing Places Fund.

Chris Starkie, managing director of NALEP, said: “We’re pleased to hear that work will soon begin on the Winerack, turning this empty shell into desirable homes.

It will mark another step forward in the transformation of this part of the town and can unlock new investment and development opportunities.”

The project also has the support of Ipswich Borough Council.

David Ellesmere, council leader, previously said: “The unfinished Winerack has been an all too visible blot on the Ipswich landcape for too long. As long as it exists it will put off developers who might invest in our town.”

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