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Scaffolding starts to go up around Winerack on Ipswich Waterfront

PUBLISHED: 17:22 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 05 March 2018

Work has begun on the wine rack in Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Work has begun on the wine rack in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Work has finally started to complete the Winerack on Ipswich Waterfront – the building that has spent a decade as the town’s own monument to the economic downturn.

G- ahead given for work to start on developing the 'Winerack' building at Ipswich Waterfront. Left to right: Iain Dunnett, of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, developer John Howard of Ipswich Wharf Developments, and James Wilson, of R G Carter Construction. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE G- ahead given for work to start on developing the 'Winerack' building at Ipswich Waterfront. Left to right: Iain Dunnett, of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, developer John Howard of Ipswich Wharf Developments, and James Wilson, of R G Carter Construction. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE

Scaffolding has started to go up on the tower block that was left unfinished when original developers City Living went into administration in 2010.

For years the concrete skeleton has been Ipswich’s own symbol of the downturn that affected the world as finance for major projects dropped off.

It is now to be converted into a major feature of the waterfront with 149 flats and 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

And the building is to retain the name that was first given to it during the recession because it looked like a huge winerack towering over the historic Wet Dock in Ipswich.

The latest CGI images of the proposed development. Picture: DANIEL FISHER The latest CGI images of the proposed development. Picture: DANIEL FISHER

It has taken developer John Howard years to get the work restarted with support from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and central government grants.

The final hurdles were crossed at the end of last year although people living and working in the Waterfront area of Ipswich have had to wait a bit longer than hoped to see work get under way.

Contractors RG Carter Construction were able to get on site in January for preparatory work – but work to put up the scaffolding which should have started last month was delayed by the weather.

They were finally able to start putting it up on Monday – but that in itself will be a major job.

It will take up to three months to completely cover the building with scaffolding before a crane can be fitted at the top to start the construction work.

The first homes on the site are expected to be ready for occupation in the spring of 2019, but the whole project is not likely to be completed until the end of 2020.

James Wilson, director and general manager of the construction firm, said: “RG Carter is delighted the public will begin to see work progressing on the Winerack development in the coming weeks and we are looking forward to helping support the town’s vision for regeneration.”

Once completed, the “new” Winerack is expected to continue to be a landmark for Ipswich Waterfront – but no longer a symbol of a delayed regeneration dream.

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