Could £7m investment help Jaguar roar more loudly in Ipswich
Two of Britain’s best-known names are at the heart of a £7m investment being proposed for Ipswich.
Car dealership Marshall wants to build a new showroom and service centre at the Nacton Road entrance to Futura Park – the new retail and business park that is the home of Waitrose and John Lewis At Home in Ipswich.
Marshall already has a Jaguar dealership in West End Road, and last year bought Hammonds of Halesworth, the only Land Rover dealer in Suffolk.
Chief Executive Daksh Gupta said the sales and administration for the two brands would be brought together at the Ipswich site – but a major service centre would remain in Halesworth so owners of Land Rovers in north Suffolk would not have to travel too far to have their vehicles maintained.
He said: “Our site in West End Road is quite constrained and Jaguar Land Rover is keen to bring its dealerships together and we have come up with this proposal.
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“There will be a significant number of new jobs in Ipswich and we felt it is right to have a major presence in Suffolk’s largest town.”
Futura Park is designated for “employment use” and car dealerships have their own unique category in planning terms.
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That means the proposal will have to be debated by a full meeting of the borough’s planning and development committee during the autumn.
However Marshall and its planning advisors have already had talks with senior planning officials and are hopeful that the application will be granted.
Mr Gupta said: “If it all goes well we hope to be trading on that site by about this time next year.”
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was delighted to hear of the proposal – and said it showed that the town was able to attract high-profile businesses.
He said: “This is great news. I am delighted to hear of this investment in Ipswich and it is great that Jaguar Land Rover and Marshall are showing their confidence in the town.
“It shows how well the local economy is doing.”
Mr Gummer said that when Marshall left the West End Road site, it would leave two vacant car dealership sites next to each other which could be attractive for developers looking for a new site to build riverside residential properties.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere – who is also responsible for economic development at the borough, also welcomed the news.
He said: “This is likely to be recommended for approval by the planners and it is very welcome that a company like this dealing with very prestigious brands is seeking to invest significantly in the town.
“It will be certainly be good news so far as new jobs are concerned.”