Borough's bank balance boosted

TOWN coffers are to be boosted to the tune of £5million with the sale of land for a new sixth-form centre in Copdock.

TOWN coffers are to be boosted to the tune of £5million with the sale of land for a new sixth-form centre in Copdock.

The £74million SWISS centre project will open in September 2010 and by 2014 will be able to accommodate 2,200 pupils from the Shotley peninsula, Hadleigh, East Bergholt, and a large area of Ipswich.

Ipswich Borough Council will make £5.2million selling 12 acres of vacant land off London Road to Suffolk County Council which is in charge of the project.

That extra cash comes on top of the sale of 4.6 acres of nearby land to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Limited for £1.8million in August 2007.

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A further 5.73 acres of land will be marketed by the council this summer and is likely to fetch more than £2million.

This will leave the council with around £9million in total from the land sales.

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John Carnall, deputy leader of Ipswich Borough Council's Tory administration, said: “This money is very important and makes a significant capital receipt available.

“It will allow us to improve facilities within the town.”

Mr Carnall said Ipswich Borough Council was backing the SWISS centre as it will incorporate sixth forms from four Ipswich schools, improving the provision on offer.

He said: “Hopefully it will provide more people with qualifications to proceed to further education.

“It makes sense at a time when University Campus Suffolk is developing.”

Once up and running, sixth-form provision will end at Chantry and Westbourne high schools in Ipswich, Claydon High School, and at Belstead and Thomas Wolsey special schools in Ipswich. It will also cater for pupils aged 16 to 18 from Holbrook, Hadleigh and East Bergholt high schools.

Money raised from the sale of the land will make up part of £30million being set aside for capital projects in Ipswich over the next three years.

This could include repair of Ipswich's Crown Pools or a replacement for the ageing facility.

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