A BID has been submitted for £150,000 of government money to radically improve the links between Ipswich town centre and the Waterfront.

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The cash is being made available in response to a report on the future of Britain’s high streets by retail guru Mary Portas.

The Future High Street X-Fund is part of a second-phase package of “Portas Plus” measures announced by the government in March as applications for the first round of grants closed.

Whereas the initial “Portas” grants were targeted at smaller towns, with little or no formal town centre management structure in place, the £1million Future High Street X-Fund is intended for larger retail centres.

The cash will be shared between towns which can demonstrate significant progress already achieved through town centre management alongside the most creative and effective schemes to revitalise their high streets.

Business Improvement District delivery company Ipswich Central is spearheading a bid, backed by Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and University Campus Suffolk.

The bid seeks a sum of £150,000 to be used to help fulfil Ipswich Central’s vision of linking the traditional retail centre of the town with the Wet Dock regeneration area, to create a “Waterfront Town Centre”.

The submission has been titled “Turning Our Town Around”, reflecting the aim of creating a north-south axis – both in terms of the physical lay-out of the town and in the way people think about it – rather than the traditional east-west axis of the main retail area.

It aims to use the funding for two years of marketing and promotion to kick-start the revitalisation of key “transition” areas between the Waterfront and the existing town centre, with the goal of emulating the success of the St Nicholas Street and St Peter’s Street area, which already links the two zones with a mix of retail, restaurant and residential use.

Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central, said: “The impressions of people who have not visited Ipswich for five years will be way out of date. We need to get the message across to investors and to visitors that the place has dramatically changed.

“The partnership behind Turning Our Town Around is a fantastic example of a real private-public approach, in terms of what we have achieved so far on our journey and what we want to achieve in the future.”

Although no formal boundaries have been set, the project could involve areas including Lower Brook Street, where The Link scheme proposed by developer Wrenbridge includes new offices for media company Archant, which publishes the Ipswich Star, and Fore Street.

The Ipswich Star is currently running the I Love Ipswich campaign, celebrating developments in the town and championing change.

10 comments

  • I wish that the 99% of Ipswich that doesn't include the "Waterfront" ignores it, it will just go away. Is it just that the Waterfront Borough Council has decided the rest of the town isn't worth saving?

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    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Friday, December 7, 2012

  • Mr Woodgate , i made no mention of a cable car ! Have you never seen a pedestrain route over some motorways and in some towns . It is a bridge covered and goes from the upeer floor of some multi storey car park or shopping centre to another part of the town so traffic can flow underneath :)

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    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Whilst this money should be welcomed, we should all remember its in the same hands as the idiots who brought us the Waterfront in the first place... it should hardly fill anyone with confidence. Its £150k, not enough for a bridge, a cable car, a subway or a bus link for longer then 12 months... so of course, it will be spent on a new pedestrian crossing over the one way system, continuing to slow traffic flow yet further and most likely bring the whole east west flow of cars to a halt. Prepare for another stupid idea people of Ipswich... the waterfront planners have more cash to waste.

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    Fat Lady Sings

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • well its a start but does unfortunately reveal the utter incompetence and lack of foresight that caused the problem in the first place more money to fix that which should never have been broken, nope i dont think so, how about more traffic lights-or similar hair brained scheme? but i am totally in favour of shopping locally so join it up with retail, but a cable car? please are you mad?

    Report this comment

    Andrew Woodgate

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • I would vote in the Town Link poll but frankly all the available suggestions are so ridiculous I can't pick one! Bridge, tram, cable car - has whoever thought of these ideas never been to Ipswich?

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Paul Clement encoraging people to kleave the area he is supposed to be supporting ? Dragging the Town Centre to the Waterfront ! Where are the shops down there ? While the one way system goes as it does that will never happen , the bit between St Peters Street and the Waterfront is a DUMP and does little to encourage anyone to head that way. Unless the pedestrian route is 40 feet above the road it will never happen

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Build a large roof over the Woolies car park, a la Borough market, move the Cornhill market there, have stalls to be rented by the day for anyone to use as well as the regulars, and bingo, best market in the area. easy.

    Report this comment

    Mike Derruki

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • It's a nice idea to want the Waterfront linked up with the town centre but it won't happen. We see enough reports about the shops in the town centre struggling to make money and that's where everyone already goes. The Waterfront doesn't have anything. A couple of Cafes and that's it. No one wants to put a shop there as the couple that do exist don't exactly do a great turnover. Generally the only people on the Waterfront are the people who live there and not really anyone else. The only time the Waterfront gets busy is when there's the maritime festival (at which the stalls costs way too much for small local businesses to make use of) and even then people don't really do much with the waterfront businesses, only the stalls. As for the area between the Waterfront and town centre. I've seen the shops that are on Fore Street (the only real street with anything much on it between the two) come and go over again. Nobody stops at them because they're coming or going from the town centre. Again, nice idea to want all this linked up but it's just not going to happen. Best spend the money on something useful...like severence pay to fire the idiots who keep putting traffic lights everywhere!

    Report this comment

    Chris Church

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Impossible task!!! The water front is to far away!! And the town centre needs help fill the empty shops first

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    Buxton

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Improve surrounding shopping areas and provide free buses.

    Report this comment

    Heather

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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

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