Could Burton’s factory project in Ipswich benefit from PM’s ‘New Deal’?
- Credit: Dan Fisher
A project to transform an eyesore building into an arts and media hub on Ipswich Waterfront could be set to receive a cash boost from the government’s £118million plan to kick-start the East Anglian economy.
The former Burton’s factory building was given the go-ahead by Ipswich Borough Council back in January to undergo a complete overhaul, more than four years after the authority snapped up the building for £210,000.
On Tuesday, prime minister Boris Johnson unveiled the government’s scheme to rebuild the UK’s economy as the country makes its first steps towards normality following the devastating effects of coronavirus.
Included in what has been dubbed the ‘New Deal’ is a £118.75million boost for jobs, skills and infrastructure in the East of England.
Of this total, £111.5million has been set aside to fund “shovel-ready” projects that are facing the biggest economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
And now, a media statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government has said: “This could include schemes such as the Burtons building in Ipswich, which aims to develop two derelict buildings on the waterfront to create a mixed-use complex that would create 90 new jobs.”
The project involves developing the site into a state-of-the-art complex where world-renowned theatre company Gecko are planning to set up headquarters.
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Amit Lahav, Gecko artistic director, said the new development would create a “revolutionary space that people will be interested in all over the country”.
A planning application is expected to be submitted within the next few weeks.
Mr Johnson pledged to invest in towns that “feel left behind” and said the scheme would ensure not “all the action is in the cities or in the metropolis”.
The government has confirmed eight towns across the East of England will benefit from the funding.
Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth, said: “We have never lost sight of our mission to unite and level up and the support package shows we are more committed to that aim than ever. “The announcement will mean £111.5 million extra for transport, broadband and skills in the East of England, and investment delivered faster for eight towns.
“This is a real statement of intent as we work to get the East of England firing on all cylinders.”