Ipswich Central's BID commitments for the town centre if council vote yes

The Town hall. Historical buildings in Ipswich town centre PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Town hall. Historical buildings in Ipswich town centre PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

More CCTV funding, a free public WiFi network and a year of Thomas Wolsey - what would another five years of the Business Improvement District (BID) mean for Ipswich?

This would be the fourth BID term in the town, with proposals adopted every five years since 2007. 

A BID is a business-led initiative that sees businesses in the heart of town pay a levy that will be distributed to enhance the area, particularly as a retail and visitor destination. 

Ipswich Central is seeking backing for a new term to run from April 2022 to 2027.

The executive meeting on November 2 will determine whether Ipswich Borough Council supports the BID.

Paul Clement

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, has been backing the BID since 2007 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

But what could a yes vote mean for Ipswich? 

An additional £50,000 has been pledged to improve the town centre-wide CCTV system. 

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More street rangers will be added during the five-year term and the radio link system will be upgraded with new equipment and new service. 

Taxi marshals will continue to be provided, as will funding for the BarWatch programme, that seeks to reduce antisocial behaviour and improve safety at bars, restaurants and clubs. 

Digital projects are a major focus, with a loyalty gift card scheme and a £2.3m free public WiFi network on the cards.

The network will offer access from any connected device to a "wide range of information and transaction services with commercial, heritage, education and safety objectives".  

It will also link with a scheme called Town Trails, which will "provide routes through the town that reveal more to visitors" combining physical sites with augmented reality features.

Ipswich Letters

An Ipswich Letters art installation could bring a new sense of place to the town centre. - Credit: EDRM/ Ipswich Central

A prominent new installation - the Ipswich Letters Sculpture - promises to "create multiple Instagrammable moments" for visitors and residents. 

Help for independent businesses will be given in the form of £100,000 over the five-year term to run campaigns and promotional events. 

The revival of Stoke Bridge is a priority, as is the improvement of the Lloyds Avenue entrance to Cornhill Square. 

Ipswich Central has also pledged to "continue our programme of activities in the historic town centre" and "maintain our commitment to providing the town centre's Christmas tree on the Cornhill Square". 

Plans to create more green spaces and corridors based around pedestrian routes will also be put together. 

In addition, a year of events themed around Thomas Wolsey is proposed, as is a campaign to support an application for city status in 2022 and the City of Culture title in 2029. 

The broader aims of BID are to create a stronger, safer and healthier and greener Ipswich. 

The council has voted to approve the BID for Ipswich in the previous three ballots.

What are your thoughts? Contact charlotte.moore@archant.co.uk