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Boom time for town

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

NEW multi-million pound developments to transform the heart of Ipswich are on track and set for take-off, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Evening Star exclusive by Paul Geater

NEW multi-million pound developments to transform the heart of Ipswich are on track and set for take-off, the Evening Star can reveal today.

New luxury apartments on the dockside and in the heart of the town centre are on the drawing boards and further moves are being made to step up the development of the Ipswich Village project in Portman Road.

The town centre store of Marks and Spencer is to have a cash injection of £1 million for major improvements including a new café.

It has resulted in an upbeat message from Civic Centre chiefs despite fears that some of the most important new developments were facing delays.

Ipswich Council chief executive James Hehir insisted that the Ipswich Village project of new developments around the Portman Road football stadium were going ahead as planned.

This came despite a warning that the development seen as crucial to the whole project had been put "on hold."

Meanwhile, Ian Warrener, general manager for Gracemore Homes, which is set to create the apartments in the town centre, said: "We see this as an opportunity because there has been such growth in Ipswich in the last couple of years such as the developments by the dockside and elsewhere in the town.

"Nationally Ipswich has been identified as a fast growth area and we are excited about being in the town."

He said his company is now seeking for a base in East Anglia, which could create extra jobs.

However, there was confusion about the proposed Mint Quarter development between Carr Street and Tacket Street in the town centre.

A major new development on this site, owned by NCP, was first proposed back in the mid-1980s as the Cloisters.

It was revised two years ago – but nothing has so far happened on the ground and now one of the largest stores involved in the proposal has said work is unlikely to start for three to four years.

For a full report see pages two and three.

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