Businesses back Town's promotions bid

SUFFOLK'S economy would receive a million pound monthly boost if Ipswich Town win promotion, the Evening Star can today reveal.The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind Joe Royle's side and say that if Ipswich were back in the top division then the financial benefits for the area would be huge.

SUFFOLK'S economy would receive a million pound monthly boost if Ipswich Town win promotion, the Evening Star can today reveal.

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind Joe Royle's side and say that if Ipswich were back in the top division then the financial benefits for the area would be huge.

Bob Feltwell, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, feels business would be booming if the team could win promotion.

He said: "If Ipswich went up again I guess it would bring about a million pound a month in trade and turnover. It will also have people feeling good about life which is what brings spending.

"It would be very good for the area especially as Norwich have already secured promotion. Most people would like Ipswich to go up with them and hopefully the footballers on the pitch can do the job.

"Ipswich is the only large team in the county and we want to see them do well."

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And these estimated financial benefits to Suffolk do not include the economic boost felt by Ipswich Town Football Club itself which, when taken into account, could increase the financial boon of promotion to around £50m.

In 2000, when Ipswich last won promotion, Suffolk's economy was boosted by "several million" a month. However this figure was mainly through the financial benefits for companies from the building of the Greene King and North Stands.

When relegation and a high wage bill left the club in administration in February 2003, businesses in Suffolk were hit hard as unsecured creditors only received 5p in every pound that they were owed.

If Ipswich do regain their place in the Premiership then these creditors would also get another financial windfall in the form of an extra 5p in the pound payment.

Mr Feltwell believes companies are still willing to work with Ipswich Town and still want to support the team.

He said: "It (administration) made life difficult but David Sheepshanks (Ipswich Town chairman) and Derek Bowden (Ipswich Town chief executive) have been to a Suffolk Chamber of Commerce meeting with 160 businesses and cleared the air.

"The businesses heard a full explanation of what had gone wrong."

"That is history now and most people are looking forward and not backward."

n What financial impact would Ipswich Town winning promotion have on your business? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

n To get your super "We love you Ipswich" posters pop in to the Evening Star reception at 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. They are also available from Chantry News based in Hawthorn Drive and look out for more great posters in the Star in the near future.

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