What makes Ipswich unique?

That’s the question posed by Ipswich Borough Council’s (IBC) new Inward Investment strategy. 

However, a key step is to understand and celebrate what makes Ipswich unique and a great place to live and work.  What do you think? Parks? History? Heritage? Football? Architecture? Waterfront? Theatres? Music? Events? Quality of Life? All of the above?  We’ll be asking for your views shortly.

Defining Ipswich’s unique selling points will help sell the Town.

The long-term aim is to bring new businesses here and help existing ones to grow. This will bring new and better jobs into the local economy, which will be better for local people.

Ipswich Star: Cllr Neil MacDonald reviewing investment in the town with local councillors Jane Riley and Adam Rae.Cllr Neil MacDonald reviewing investment in the town with local councillors Jane Riley and Adam Rae. (Image: IBC)

It is closely linked to making Ipswich a better place to live. IBC and partners in the public and private sector take a structured approach to planning, designing, and managing our public spaces. Investing in physical assets to create better, safer and more attractive spaces.

Inward investment is primarily about generating confidence and enthusiasm about Ipswich – creating a buzz. This includes taking our current unique points, or new ones we would like to have. Then we need to make sure that the unique voice is heard by the right people.

The new strategy sets out the approach to inward investment and a three-year action plan that will increase interest in investing in Ipswich. Inward investment can only be delivered through working together with the private and public sectors. IBC is committed to work with partners to deliver investment and growth.

We have had some success with inward investment. Ipswich is projected to be the fourth fastest growing UK city between 2016-26.  Top accounting firm PwC rank the town among the UK’s top 20 best performing cities.  Did I mention the C word? Ipswich is usually described as a Large Town in these city reports and is clearly punching above its weight.  Personally, I am unconcerned about being called a town or a city.  What is important is that we are taking the right steps to improve Ipswich, to grow our skills and work together to bring good quality businesses to Ipswich.

Keir Starmer recently talked about a backing British business by implementing a “modern industrial strategy”. He means that we will get everyone around the table, remove barriers to investment and create a National Wealth Fund to unlock billions of pounds of private investment.

I really like the pledge for more flexible skills training for apprenticeships and the short courses, which can train coders and programmers in weeks.

Labour’s plan for growth is about making working people better off.  When elected to government, Labour aims to secure the "highest sustained growth" in the G7 group of seven richest nations, by the end of their first term.

Hopefully, Ipswich can play a big part in this growth. Our Inward Investment Strategy and the action plan that comes with it, means we are well placed to contribute to national growth.  What’s in the plan?

I have already covered using our uniqueness to attract business.  I am sure you are aware that IBC is investing in improvements in the town centre and trying to improve the mixture of building usage in the town centre.  We will also actively promote Ipswich as a place open for business and use existing businesses as ambassadors for the town.

It's important that the town is attractive to people and our cultural and entertainment events are key for both attracting and keeping workers in the town.

The new Inward Investment strategy, created by Ipswich Borough Council, will help propel Ipswich into the Premier League of business.