Ipswich: New £12million business park being created at rail junction

Businessman Peter Colby gave MEP Vicky Ford and MP Ben Gummer a tour of the future site of a new bus

Businessman Peter Colby gave MEP Vicky Ford and MP Ben Gummer a tour of the future site of a new business park off Hadleigh Road in Ipswich on Thursday, 20 February.

A new business park is set to create hundreds of new jobs near the heart of Ipswich.

The new park is being created on the site of the former Harris bacon factory in Hadleigh Road which closed in the 1990s.

The new development will see “starter” units built for new businesses on the triangle of land between three rail routes – the main line to Norwich, the East Suffolk Line to Lowestoft and Felixstowe and the new chord linking the two which is due to open at the end of next month.

The business park is being built by property developer Peter Colby who already owns business units further along Hadleigh Road as well as other business sites across East Anglia.

Preparatory work has already started – and the units themselves should start to take shape once Network Rail engineers have completed the chord.

Mr Colby said: “We are looking at creating units starting from 800 to 1,000 square feet for people who want to start their own business in the town.

“There is a real need for this kind of property in Ipswich and hopefully it will enable hundreds of new jobs to be created in businesses starting here.”

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In total there will be about 200,000 square feet of business space at the site – the buildings will cost about £10 million and a further £2 million will be spent on infrastructure, including a traffic light junction with Hadleigh Road.

Vanessa Penn of Penn Commercial, the Ipswich based commercial property agents who will be letting the business units, said: “This is one of the last remaining employment zones of any significant size in Ipswich, and we’re anticipating a huge number of jobs could be created here.

“This new development really is very big for Ipswich. Peter Colby has a real vision for this site. He bought this land seven years ago and we’re looking forward to helping him bring it to fruition.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer and East of England MEP Vicky Ford were given a tour of the site yesterday.

Mr Gummer said: “We saw in the unemployment figures yesterday that the reduction in numbers in Ipswich has slowed. That is partly because there are not the new businesses able to create jobs because there are no premises for them.

“This kind of scheme is just what the town needs to provide premises for these new businesses.”

Mrs Ford said the scheme was able to go ahead because of the new rail line which, in turn, had been partially financed by the EU.

She said: “Some people say we never get money back from Europe but on the rail freight projects we have had over €30 million so far. This adds capacity for up to 20 trains a day taking more trucks off our roads.”

The work on the park has had to dovetail with the construction of the rail chord which will allow freight trains from Felixstowe to head north west without having to reverse at Ipswich.

Initially nine trains a day will use the chord when it opens on March 31, but this has the potential to more than double.

Combined with last year’s opening of a new rail terminal at the Port of Felixstowe, rail has the capacity to take up to 750,000 containers a year off the region’s roads.