Ipswich port bosses earmark 11 acres for development land

An aerial view of the Port of Ipswich

ABP, the owner of the Port of Ipswich, has earmarked 11 acres of land at Cliff Quay for development - Credit: ABP

Port bosses have earmarked 11 acres at the Port of Ipswich as "strategic" land and will be seeking permission to use it for other types of business activity.

The Cliff Quay site is one of 14 strategic sites being brought forward by port owners Associated British Ports (ABP) for a range of business uses including manufacturing, renewable energy and warehousing.

Over the next 18 months, it will be spending more than £5m to make the sites ready for development, carrying out technical studies, gaining outline planning permission and preparing the land, it said.

The Ipswich site is part of an initiative to bring more than 1,075 acres which ABP plans to make available for other purposes across its sites. The company runs 21 ports around the UK.

Other sites earmarked include Hull, Southampton, Immingham, Grimsby, Cardiff, Newport and Port Talbot. More sites will follow next year, it said.

ABP chief executive Henrik Pedersen said: “Our ports – with their superb connectivity both domestic and internationally, together with established infrastructure – already play a key role in the UK manufacturing, supply chain and energy sectors.

ABP ports boss Henrik Pedersen

Henrik Pedersen, chief executive of Associated British Ports (ABP) - Credit: Susanne Hakuba

“This initiative will enable a growing number of businesses to leverage our land, property partnering expertise and power capacity. We believe this can make a significant contribution to the country’s economic vibrancy and supply chain efficiency.

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“ABP is a strategic partner for UK businesses assisting the country’s post-pandemic recovery, and achieving the common goal of decarbonisation.”

The strategic land at Ipswich comprises an 11-acre site at Cliff Quay.

Bruce Robertson, head of supply chain and consumer advisory at CBRE – which is advising ABP on the project  - pointed out that the UK needs more distribution hubs next to major conurbations with a good labour supply and which can connect to road and rail networks.

"These ABP sites are superbly situated to do just that," he said.

“The need for more warehouse space to fulfil online retailing – which is growing and was accelerated by the pandemic – plus ongoing labour shortages are putting unprecedented pressure on the UK’s supply chain.”

The UK  has the third highest e-commerce penetration ratio globally at 24% with annual online spend of nearly £100bn, said ABP.

Its online spending ratio is forecast to rise to 32% by 2025, and it is estimated  for every additional £1bn of online spend around 1m sq ft of logistics space is needed.

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