max temp: 15°C

min temp: 12°C


Ipswich: Does the wine rack have a future?

14:12 03 April 2013

View of Regatta Quay from Stoke Bridge, Ipswich

View of Regatta Quay from Stoke Bridge, Ipswich


It’s the landmark that no one wants – yet the town’s monument to the recession seems set to stick out like a sore thumb for some time yet!

Wine rack timeline

2006: Demolition work takes place at two of the largest Waterfront plants – Pauls Maltings and Cranfields Mill – which are to become Regatta Quay and The Mill respectively.

2007: Work starts on both sites, the first of two towers at Regatta Quay is “topped out”.

2009: Work on the Regatta Quay halts with the skeleton of the second tower left incomplete.

Jan 2010: Regatta Quay developer City Living goes into administration after talks with its banker Anglo Irish. Grant Thornton appointed administrators.

May 2010: The Mill developer Wharfside Regeneration is put into administration by its bank Allied Irish. Baker Tilly appointed administrators.

Late 2010: Irish banking crisis. Toxic elements of major banks – including those to the two Ipswich developments – transferred to new body the National Asset Management Authority (NAMA).

November 2011: Officials from NAMA visit Ipswich Waterfront. As they now control both sites they decide to put them under a single administrator, Baker Tilly. They also reveal a masterplan will be drawn up during the spring of 2012 aimed at finding a way to restart work.

April 2013: While some flats that were nearing completion when the developers went into administration have been completed, the undeveloped parts of both sites remain.

The “wine rack” was supposed to be the skeleton for the second tower of the Regatta Quay development on the Waterfront – but has remained incomplete since work stopped on the project in late 2009.

The developers of the project, City Living, went into administration in early 2010 – owing millions to the Anglo Irish bank.

Its neighbouring development, The Mill, also went into administration – and despite the two developments being brought together under a single administrator in November 2011 there have been few major changes.

Yesterday Ipswich MP Ben Gummer met administrator Nigel Millar from Bury St Edmunds-based Baker Tilly – but while there has been some progress, he warned there was no immediate prospect of a major transformation.

Mr Gummer said: “There has been some success in completing and selling some of the flats that were underway and that is important to improve the cash flow – but this is a very complex administration.”

The “wine rack” itself is a sound structure at no risk of coming down, but there is no money available to complete the work at present.

When asked: “If you were a betting man, what would you put your money on being on the site of the wine rack in five years’ time,” Mr Gummer was silent for several seconds.

Eventually he said: “I think there is a 75% chance that it will be fitted out. But that is the most difficult element of the whole development.

“Take out the wine rack and there’s a 90% chance that the rest of the development will be completed – but that does all depend on an upturn in the economy.”

In the meantime, the “wine rack” remains a landmark from many parts of the town – it is clearly visible from Wherstead Road, Old Stoke, Westerfield Road, and across the town centre.


  • It seems that even the village of Waterfront can not avoid bureaucracy... how much time has been wasted by IBC, our MP and others on this construction? Pull it down! Meanwhile, back in the real town of Ipswich...

    Report this comment

    Fat Lady Sings

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013


    Report this comment


    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

  • To be fair, if it stays as it is it'll still look better than it would if it were completed to the same "high" standard as all the other modern buildings in the area.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Half term is nearly over and you have exhausted your usual list of family activities - arts and crafts, cinema trip and a day out at the park.

Take a look at some of the most valuable homes sold in Suffolk in August.

Portman Road stadium may be home to Ipswich Town football club, but here is a look at some of the other sports played there as we reach the letter P in our Ipswich A-Z.

A project to find safe and friendly homes for vulnerable young people is being launched in Suffolk – after changing lives north of the border.

Motorists are being warned that highways engineers will be surveying the road surface of the A14 in Suffolk next week.

Campaigners are today making a toast to community spirit and tasting a hard-earned sip of success as their dream of saving a village pub becomes a reality.

Fright night fun comes to Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft this weekend as we celebrate Halloween - with the actual scare-fest taking place on Monday, October 31.

A D-Day veteran from Ipswich has been treated to a celebration lunch with the mayor after being awarded a French Legion of Honour medal for his role in the Normandy landings.

Get yourself protected – that’s the message from Suffolk health professionals to vulnerable people who are eligible for free flu jabs.

Through our iwitness24 site readers are able to share their photos of Suffolk’s top beauty spots, nature images that have been taken great patience to shoot and funny photos that bring a smile to your face.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24