If our town centre is to thrive, first it must transform

Picture of Terry Baxter, chair of Ipswich Central in the town

Terry Baxter, chair of Ipswich Central - Credit: Ipswich Central

Terry Baxter, chair of Ipswich Central, explains the idea behind Ipswich Vision, and how residents and businesses can get involved by attending a virtual conference on April 13.

The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating for our high streets and the knock-on effect has been felt by businesses and residents alike. Whether you believe that Covid-19 is responsible for the change now underway, or merely accelerated changes already occurring, we all accept that our towns and cities will never be the same again. 

However, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon in the form of the Ipswich Vision. The Vision aims to make Ipswich the first ‘better connected’ town in the UK, drawing inspiration from the popular ‘15-minute’ model seen in other cities. 

This concept recognises that our town centre must adapt and find new ways in which to create a place that people want to work, shop and live.

Ipswich Central and the Association of Town and City Centre Management (ATCM) will be hosting a virtual Reviving Ipswich Town conference on April 13, 10.30am-12pm, which is open to both residents and business owners of Ipswich and will bring together a range of experts to share insights on what opportunities this transformation could deliver. 

The speaker line-up includes Ojay McDonald, chief executive of the Association of Town and City Management, who will be providing his expertise on urban regeneration. Next, Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at the Centre for Cities, who is an expert on urban planning. Steve Walker, director at Allies & Morrison also joins the panel, and has been involved with the Ipswich Vision for a number of years.

We are looking forward to welcoming Minnie Moll, an award-winning marketeer and chief executive at the Design Council. Finally, we have Paul Clement, CEO of Ipswich Central, who has been involved in town centre management and place-shaping since 2000. 

We will also be hearing from local businesses and residents, as they put forward their questions and observations on how the Vision can benefit Ipswich. 

Join the virtual Reviving Ipswich Town conference, which will take place on April 13 from 10.30am-12pm. Sign up to attend by visiting https://ipswichcentral.com/news-and-events/turningyourtownaround