Action plan for town growth

MULTI-million pound investment is being planned for Woodbridge with details announced today of two key projects to regenerate the riverside town.A new action plan is to be drawn up to revitalise the historic riverside area, while garden company Notcutts Ltd is in talks with council chiefs about redevelopment of its premises.

MULTI-million pound investment is being planned for Woodbridge with details announced today of two key projects to regenerate the riverside town.

A new action plan is to be drawn up to revitalise the historic riverside area, while garden company Notcutts Ltd is in talks with council chiefs about redevelopment of its premises.

Both schemes should provide a huge boost to the town and help to improve its economy and bring in more visitors.

The Woodbridge and Melton Market Towns Initiative (MTI) partnership and Suffolk Coastal council have joined forces to draw up the riverside scheme.

They will be appointing a project manager who will oversee the production of the action plan – and it is hoped some work will start on site by next summer.

MTI spokeswoman Penny Austen-Brown said: "This is a major project which will help set out the future for part of the Woodbridge Riverside, and will involve gaining the input from as many key stakeholders and as much of the community as possible."

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The plan will involve landowners, occupiers, groups and organisations looking at the riverside and setting out short, medium and long term projects and aims for improving the area, which includes the Tide Mill and Whisstocks boat yard.

Details of Notcutt's plans are sketchy at this stage but is it understood the project will safeguard the future of its popular garden centre in Ipswich Road.

Private briefings are also being held in the town with neighbouring residents and the Woodbridge Society, and town council planners have been given an insight into the future of the prime site.

It is understood that the redevelopment will include housing on part of the site and this will help to pay for the costs.

William Notcutt, group managing director, has written to nearby residents and said: "The centre today does not meet our customers' expectations or requirements for a modern garden centre. We now wish to improve it and safeguard its future as Woodbridge's Garden Centre.

"Likewise, over the years our nursery production activities have relocated primarily to our main production nursery at Pettistree, but also to our other nursery sites. This has resulted in substantial areas of the home nursery site becoming redundant."

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