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What next for Ipswich Waterfront regeneration?

PUBLISHED: 17:50 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:50 27 September 2017

A vision of St Peter's Dock, back in use, with floating pontoons and visiting boats and barges, and trees planted on the quayside. Painting: REG SNOOK

A vision of St Peter's Dock, back in use, with floating pontoons and visiting boats and barges, and trees planted on the quayside. Painting: REG SNOOK

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New university exhibition explores the past, present and future of the important Ipswich Waterfront area, already an area of homes, for education and leisure.

A touch of nostaliga. How the waterfront used to look. Picture: IPSWICH MARITIME TRUSTA touch of nostaliga. How the waterfront used to look. Picture: IPSWICH MARITIME TRUST

The area around the famous Victorian wet dock has seen tremendous changes over recent years, with more surely to come.

And to mark 35 years of its existence, the local Ipswich Maritime Trust is putting on a special exhibition in the foyer of the University of Suffolk Waterfront building.

`The Changing Waterfront’ exhibition will be on display from October 4 through to October 11, 2017.

The display draws on the Maritime Trust’s photographic and image collection, since it started in 1982, with a particular focus on the St Peter’s Dock area, the Anglo Saxon heart of Ipswich as a maritime town.

In 1982, with interest in the history of Ipswich as a port town growing, the trust mounted an exhibition in R & W Paul’s Home Warehouse (now restored and the home of Ashtons Legal), the aim was to show what might be achieved to bring the largely disused Wet Dock back into use.

Since then the Trust’s vision has been achieved in many areas.

It produced an artist’s impression - a vision of what the Waterfront might become, with imagination and investment.

We re-produce hat image here.

A historic view of the waterfront. Picture: IPSWICH MARITIME TRUSTA historic view of the waterfront. Picture: IPSWICH MARITIME TRUST

Now the focus moves upstream to St Peter’s Dock, and what will happen there.

Stuart Grimwade, a director of IMT said: “This is a disused area of the Waterfront. We would like to bring this area of water back into use.

“With floating pontoons, and visiting boats and barges, even after there is a bridge over the New Cut. These are our ideas of what could happen.

“A tremendous amount has already happened in the area, since 1982.”

“This is an exciting time and an important time.

“The Trust believes that re-development of the currently derelict buildings here through collaborative working between Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council andlandowners such as ABP is now possible, giving a wonderful opportunity once more to bring back historic craft to this area of unused tidal water with a Heritage Harbour, and so complete the link between the Waterfront and the Town Centre by way of St. Peter’s Street.

“A further initiative could be to recreate something of the Victorian promenade which the townspeople once enjoyed, but which was necessarily

terminated by closure of the Island site to the public for the past 100 years.

“The trust has commissioned from Ipswich artist Reg Snook, a new `Vision’ Plan, to illustrate its ideas for the future use of this part of the historic dock, and so complete the restoration of the unique waterfront of the oldest English town.

He added: “The new exhbition draws on materials from those early days together with older, historic photographs which have been collected and are now in the trust’s archive.”

Russell Williams, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council said: “We would like to offer our congratulations to the Maritime Trust for their achievements over the past 35 years. The Stoke Bridge area is an important link between the Waterfront and the town centre. We are keen to work with partners to bring about much needed regeneration and that is why we have bought two derelict sites at this end of the Waterfront.”

The exhibition at the University of Suffolk will be opened by the mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber on Tuesday October 3, and is then open to the public from Thursday October 4 through to October 11.

What do you think is needed next at the Ipswich Waterfront?

More homes

More restaurants

Aquarium

Transport Museum

Historic boats

Or something else?

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