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Ipswich: Town to put on the map with access to business development funds

09:40 01 May 2014

The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, centres,  with Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, left, and the chairman of the Ipswich and Suffolk Business Club, Colin Underdown) taking in the sights of the Ipswich waterfront.

The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, centres, with Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, left, and the chairman of the Ipswich and Suffolk Business Club, Colin Underdown) taking in the sights of the Ipswich waterfront.

Paul Nixon Photography 07904296577

Ipswich will get a “shot in the arm” thanks to extra funds and tax breaks targeted at some of the town’s most deprived areas.

The inclusion of areas of Ipswich in an updated Assisted Area Status (AAS) map has been hailed by politicians and business representatives alike.

The AAS, which is due to be rubber-stamped by Europe in July, is granted to less prosperous local economies so that businesses there can avail of more government or European funding to help them grow.

A draft map published by the government in December didn’t include Ipswich, but that looks set to change, with Alexandra Ward, Gipping Ward, Holywells Ward and Priory Heath Ward to be incorporated.

Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich, said: “I’ve been making the argument within the Department for Communities and Local Government, Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, that even wealthy areas of our country have some significant pockets of deprivation, and Ipswich is one of them. That has been recognised. There are parts of Ipswich which are as badly off as parts of Liverpool.”

While Mark Pendlington of New Anglia LEP Chairman said it was “fantastic news” and described Ipswich as a “significant industrial centre” with many firms looking to expand.

Other parts of Suffolk, such as Lowestoft, will also be included in the map.

“This announcement is good news and can make a real difference to Ipswich and Lowestoft,” said John Dugmore, CEO of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

“Both towns have seen private and public sectors coming together to bring economic regeneration that makes a real difference to real businesses and real people’s lives.

“By ensuring that more investment is available in these important areas, we can now hopefully see continued growth.

“We do have to ensure though that the money gets to where it is needed most as soon as possible in order that firms can invest and bring more jobs and more economic prosperity to both Ipswich and Lowestoft.”

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