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Video: New “Enterprise Island” could transform Ipswich Waterfront

14:45 23 October 2014

Aerial picuture showing the New Cut (left) and the lock gates (right) which would be crossed by the new bridge over the Orwell.

Aerial picuture showing the New Cut (left) and the lock gates (right) which would be crossed by the new bridge over the Orwell.

A multi-million pound new business area in the heart of the Waterfront could transform Ipswich’s business prospects over the next decade.

Welcome for development proposals

The partners in the proposal all welcomed the proposed development of the island site.

Andrew Harston from site owner ABP said: “ABP is positive about the proposal for a Wet Dock crossing and the development of the Island Site as an Enterprise Island.

“A new crossing and increasing development on the Island Site would be a significant enhancement to Ipswich and would build on the considerable success of the marina.”

Richard Lister, Provost of University Campus Suffolk said: “Ipswich is well positioned to take advantage of growing demand for high-tech goods and services, as well as cutting-edge creative arts.

“The Waterfront site is developing a reputation as a centre of excellence in both of these fields and University Campus Suffolk is very keen to support their development.”

Mark Pendlington, Chairman of the New Anglia LEP said: “Ipswich is a major economic and growth hub for the New Anglia economy and we want to secure even more investment and more jobs for the area.

“That’s what is at the heart of our economic plan as we work with others to release even greater potential in Ipswich.”

Graham Newman, Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Transport said: “This is a potentially fantastic opportunity to open up the so-called island site at Ipswich waterfront, while at the same time providing a new road route to relieve traffic congestion in the ever-busy Star Lane one way system.

“This would in turn achieve the long-standing objective to improve access between the Town Centre and the Waterfront.”

The new “Enterprise Island” between the Wet Dock and the New Cut could be home to dozens of high-tech businesses linked to UCS.

And it would be linked to the rest of the town by a new river link over the Orwell from Bath Street across the New Cut and the Wet Dock lock gates.

The scheme has the backing of Island site owner Associated British Ports, UCS, Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

It was being unveiled today at the James Hehir Building of UCS by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

The project is being promoted under the label “Ipswich 2020” although the partners accept it is unlikely to be fully realised within the next six years.

Mr Gummer believes the new river crossing – which would have to include two lifting or swing bridges over the lock – is the key to the development and would ease the chronic congestion on existing roads around the Waterfront.

The bridges over the lock would cost about £78 million and there would also need to be a fixed bridge over the New Cut linking to either Bath Street or Felaw Street.

Mr Gummer said: “It would cost a great deal and I have been in talks with the Treasury, but having the backing of the university, the LEP and the landowners (ABP) is very important.

“That site is near the university, so businesses would be connected to that, and it is also a short walk from the railway station – and once we have an improved rail service it will have very easy access to the City of London.

“This is very, very, exciting. It could be a game-changer for Ipswich.”

The involvement of the county council is crucial in building the new road – although the majority of funds for that would have to come from the LEP and the Treasury.

Congestion around the Waterfront has become a fact of life in recent years – and many drivers feel it has got worse since the Travel Ipswich programme began two years ago.

A new river crossing should be able to ease that, allowing vehicles to travel from Wherstead Road to the east of town without having to use the existing Waterfront roads.

Once the infrastructure is in place, the partners expect businesses to be keen to build offices and technology centres – which could take several years, or could be snapped up more quickly.

It is possible that there could be some housing on the site, although Mr Gummer said: “There isn’t really a shortage of flats around the Waterfront!”

33 comments

  • More errr Vote Tory from Paul Geater (again) Yawn

    Report this comment

    JC

    Friday, October 24, 2014

  • Well that proves what a load of deluded idiots we have round here making policy decisions for our future. Great idea!?. If it wasn't for the projected rise in sea levels as the polar ice caps and all glaciers melt. By 2030 I recomend at least wellies or probably waders at spring tides.:-) I suspect what we are seeing here is the unfortunate effects of paternally administered Bovine Spungeform Encephalitis.:-)

    Report this comment

    Mark Harwood

    Friday, October 24, 2014

  • I'm sure that backing this 'vision', that won't ever come to fruition, is a great vote winner and shows, well, vision.

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Nah....we all know that if money should become available it will be best utilised in building a Northern by-pass. This will be essential when the northern fringe is built upon.

    Report this comment

    Scuzzer

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • When Ben was first elected he told me of his wish to have a bridge across the dock and New Cut. I believe he is genuine but totally misguided in this instance. The Orwell Bridge is very tall because big ships and taller yachts have to pass under it. It just isn't possible to build another bridge that high and to block the New Cut would be unlawful anyhow. I did explain all this at the time so I can only assume he is flying a kite hoping it will save him at the next election. He has got that wrong too;-)

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Yay! A video... But don't get too worked up... it has "Ben Gummer" stamped all over it. Slight coincidence of some involvement in a new project coinciding not far from a General Election... next year (2015). Then perhaps its not too surprising when you consider parliamentary terms last 5 years and the next General Elections thereafter (unless dissolved before hand, unlikely) is in 2020. In a nut shell, he is trying to guarantee being re-elected for a full second term. ***** Shame on Ipswich Star for allowing this lame political publicity where the vast majority of residents aren't remotely fooled by it ***** There has been nothing other than a brief discussion on this "idea"... the land owners are happy IF big money comes their way. Government wont be funding the project with such a short timescale. If it was to be sold, it will be to developers for residential purposes. ***** I am still unsure about the waterfront obsession of making it a tourist attraction whilst then deciding people should in-effect drive through it... in that case why not simply allow people to drive through the existing state of it ***** We still aren't sure if the university is going to become a proper university. This should be a main priority.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Putting a bridge across the Orwell to ease traffic was talked about years ago, as for lifting bridges or swing bridges , you only have to look at Lowestoft to see what happens when the bridge is raised,

    Report this comment

    richard

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • This cheaper option will kill off a northern bypass.

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Investment in the Town is great, however this bridge is Suffolk County Council's preferred option to the Northern Bypass. This project should not be instead of it, if they're going to bring more traffic to the centre of Ipswich, they'll need a decent relief road any way, this will not be it!

    Report this comment

    bconnelly55

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • amsterdam81, I fully agree with you , but by the time they have build all those house out that way you would end up going half way to Norwich to get round Ipswich

    Report this comment

    Roadrunner

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • It would be best for the dock areas if priority was given to filling all of the many empty flats and completing the unfinished buildings, before embarking on grand schemes of this kind. It would also help with the phasing of the new housing proposals of the NE Ipswich 'garden' estate and the Martlesham Heath expansion. It would not be good to add extra job prospects in the centre of Ipswich when most employees would prefer to live in houses with gardens on the outskirts.

    Report this comment

    Steven Whalley

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Ipswichite, no negativity my side. I applaud what Ben, IBC, SCC & Anglia are seeking to achieve here. I watched the development at Reading waterfront and know the difference it made to that large town. Although the major transformation in Reading fortunes was to gain unitary council status, and break free from Berkshire County Council). My key point is that the single development which will make most economic impact to Ipswich - for the next 50 years - is a northern bypass. The Anglia LEP based at Wymondham south of Norwich on the A11 has been instrumental in securing £250m investment in upgrading the A11 and A47 tofrom Norwich. This is estimated to grow Norfolk's & Norwich's economy by £800m per year. The new Enterprise Island would be great, but it is sideshow; the No.1 priority for Ipswich is a northern bypass.

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Ipswichite - don't you think it's a bit arrogant to tell all drivers they must "leave the roads free for commuters" during rush hour? They pay their taxes just like everyone else and thus, like everyone else, have the perfect right to travel whenever they choose. Oh, and the so-called "university" in Ipswich still hasn't materialised. It continues to be a college with no right to award degrees of its own, merely offering degrees of genuine universities such as the UEA and the University of Essex. Its representatives are of course keen to call it a "university" at every possible opportunity, but that's really a bit desperate, if not verging on the fraudulent.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Hey, a new wizzy video thing has appeared in this news item now, and guess what, it shows turquoise water in the wet dock etc as well, so it is clearly part of the master plan as I speculated earlier. Gets my vote then.. Let's get on with it,

    Report this comment

    mmm

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Further to my earlier comment, this is just a classic piece of trolling and we, the public, shouldn't play into Geater's evil hands by responding. He knows that any story concerning the Waterfront (hereafter known as the Geaterfront) will get everyone posting like crazy, and that's what he thrives on. Ignore him, and he will lose all power to taunt and torment us.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • @Esco Fiasco: Let's just give up then, put on the heating and moan about the price of gas. There was similarily-it-will-never-happen comments regarding the Orwell Bridge and the university too.

    Report this comment

    Ipswichite

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • @Ipswichite. 'Probable redevelopment'? It has no financial backers or developers on board, it's dependent on getting tens of millions from central Government. It's nothing more than a pipe-dream. Get something a bit more solid than a proposal and people wouold not be so cynical. Look at all the hype the Star gave the Odeon redevelopment, and many others in the town, it's just another non-story.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • My answer for gridlocked roads? During rush hours, leave the roads free for commuters, there's plenty of hours between and after for leisure.

    Report this comment

    Ipswichite

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • A positive article about a probable redevelopment is always met with the usual negative spew in the comments, and Ipswich is not unique in having gridlocked roads at rush hours, but at least it's given you something more to moan about

    Report this comment

    Ipswichite

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • I Admire Ben Gummer for trying something positive for our town. BUT surely the most important project has to be a northern Bypass, especially with the development being planned for that part of Ipswich. That will reduce traffic tremendously , why do we never seem to do the obvious in ipswich, why do we have councillors who don't seem to get it????

    Report this comment

    keith hawes

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Bold and exciting prospect for Ipswich, and I really hope that it comes to fruition. However, Ben has said it can take 20 years for schemes of this scale to develop, which is even more reason for Ben, SCC, IBC amd Anglia LEP to pull their finger's out, and start the feasibility studies for an Ipswich northern bypass. Otherwise, by 2034 Ipswich will be gridlocked and no one will get to Ipswich's mainland or island !

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Calling the college a university doesn't mean it is one. Silly babies with their silly new names for everything. They should apply to be on the Apprentice if they're so easily impressed by silly names for stuff.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Another article littered with the giveaway words "could" and "would" throughout - in other words, it's all mere dreamland and pie-in-the-sky yet again. I'm afraid "Enterprise Island" (who came up with that corny name?) materialising is about as likely as the space ship Enterprise landing in Ipswich. Or less so.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • What's with the old photo and has the water in the New Cut and Wet Dock ever been such a mediterranean shade of turquoise? If that colour is part of the Ipswich 2020 plan, I'm all for it.. lovely.. :o)

    Report this comment

    mmm

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • The traffic congestion in that area has been created by over zealous traffic management. Too many traffic lights that stay red for too long and too often. The area is clear once you get through the lights. Why cant we have Zebra crossings instead of traffic lights? someone is on a little earner with the supplier no doubt.

    Report this comment

    Johnsons

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • If money is available it would be better spent on a Northern bypass to keep traffic out of town rather than something to drag more traffic in.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Don't the Powers that be realise that we have too many empty buildings already in Ipswich! Also Mr Ben Gummer saying that residential properties probably won't be built as there are plenty of flats in the area already, the emphasis being on the word flat! People need and want more house's with gardens for families, not flats. One last thing Mr Geater could you not have found a more recent picture, one that at least has the James Heir UCS building in!!

    Report this comment

    melaniejself

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Great idea, as in helping in any way to ease congestion around the docks and Novotel roundabout, becasue as time goes by it will get worse and worse, it's already at breaking point, something needs to be done around there to move traffic from West to East without going right through the docks. And until they do, they will never be able to do their grand plan of linking the docks to the town as people will not want to fight their way through a thousand cars to get from one to the other. Seriously, are Frank Spencer and Mr Bean in charge of Travel Ipswich?

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Not going to happen. As I understand it UCS has various enterprise programmes operating at the James Hehir Building - all schemes, none of which they have started themselves - but the new university isn't going to have its own "Enterprise Island"... its absurd (and is directly reliant on the river crossing going ahead). UCS has various centres across Suffolk - the logic of buying land in an overinflated location when there is land elsewhere in the town (with better transport links) is plain stupid. One example is the old Fisons building - or more to the point the location of land owned by IBC - just a 2 minute walk from the railway station, 5 minutes from town centre and 5 minutes from the waterfront. Furthermore, its located near about 6 car parks!!! ****** As for the river crossing... far too expensive and will not do much for easing congestion... perhaps 2% reduction with a 5% immediate reduction... these are small figures. No idea why people think the crossing will double capacity and reduce the congestion by half. Even if it did considerably reduce congestion... traffic lights will only be installed to counterbalance any benefit. Encouraging a new route will divert people from using the Orwell Bridge to travel through the town from one side to the other.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • I hope the plans include a runway to launch those flying pigs......

    Report this comment

    Sentinel Red

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • So this has no firm backing and is just a dream of, surprise surprise, the land owners in the area who woulf, of course, love to see this happen. But it's dependent on getting tens of millions from the Treasury which is facing declining tax revenues and far more spending cuts in the coming years. In short, another non-story about an imaginary development which will never happen.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • Another Geater troll. Don't rise to the bait, people!

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

  • What a silly story Mr Geater. The Ipswich Local Development Plan has the Island Site earmarked as residential.

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

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

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