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Ipswich: Borough plots growth of economy

07:00 28 January 2013

David Ellesmere

David Ellesmere

Archant

The town’s economy has coped relatively well since the financial crash in 2007 – but needs to grow substantially over the next decade and a half.

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The conclusion is the clear message from the borough’s new economic development strategy which is set to be adopted at its next full meeting on Wednesday.

The strategy runs until 2026 – and will run alongside the Local Development Framework and the Town Centre Masterplan to provide a vision of where the town should be heading as the economy emerges from recession.

It seeks to create conditions which can create up to 18,000 new jobs and 10,500 new homes in the Ipswich Policy Area – which is larger than the borough’s boundaries.

Among the challenges faced by the town are the relatively high proportion of workers employed in the public sector – 32.3% which is higher than the regional (21%) or national (22%) figures.

This could also be a factor in the relatively low number of self-employed people in Ipswich – just over 10% compared with just under 15% across East Anglia.

The borough is confident that existing strong businesses in the town like financial services, the public sector, and freight management will continue to thrive, there are four sectors that could provide growth in the future:

Education – as UCS and Suffolk New College continue to develop.

Tourism, Hospitality and Culture – especially around the Waterfront and with the possible creation of a cultural hub centred on Ipswich Museum and the Art School.

Energy – working with Sizewell C and new offshore wind farms.

Information Technology and Creative work – linking in with UCS and hi-tech firms based around Adastral Park in Martlesham.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said it was vital to produce a strategy for the town.

He said: “We cannot say how every business should develop, but it is important to put forward a vision for the development of the town – and to show what our strengths are.

“Things like the energy sector, with the North Sea Array and Sizewell are going to be important – and the links we have with London and other parts of the country are vital.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was not so impressed by the strategy. He said: “This is pretty unambitious and mediocre stuff.

“The one major infrastructure project that the council could influence - a new Wet Dock Crossing - has been given short shrift.

“The Borough has to be aware of what it is capable of doing, and that is not running the economy of the town. It should focus on what it can achieve, such as reducing business rates for hard-hit businesses which in Fore Street it has refused to do.”

Can the borough boost the local economy? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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3 comments

  • I was reflecting on my pride of being Ipswich born and bred and came to a pretty unhappy conclusion. My main sources of pride are our history and our geography. Virtually everything else embarrasses me. Our town centre is dying, my 'white-collar' friends do not want to live here and the Council seems hell-bent on preventing cars from coming into town. The Council's responsibility is to provide the conditions and environment for the community to thrive not simply to follow it's own idealogical agenda.

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    peter sadler

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • The sad part about this story is that they think they can create 'growth' by improving the 'supply' side of the economy ! They are completely overlooking the fact that this government's policies of taxing us up to the hilt and cutting our disposible income is the reason that people are spending less on products and services, hence the triple dip recession ! No amount of investment in the 'supply' side will create the 'demand' needed for the economy to 'grow' !! (I have studied Economics at HND level )

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    freedomf

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Hilarious - It certainly would be more ambitious for the Borough to concentrate on reducing business rates for one road in the town! Particualry when these are set by central government and only collected by the borough. Is it election time yet?!

    Report this comment

    Renbud

    Monday, January 28, 2013

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