Cranes prepares for new era

ONE of the largest employers in town is today looking for a new factory after agreeing an £18 million deal to sell its Ipswich site.Cranes, on Nacton Road, has two years to find new premises after selling its 43-acre site to a property which plans a mixed-use development on the site.

ONE of the largest employers in town is today looking for a new factory after agreeing an £18 million deal to sell its Ipswich site.

Cranes, on Nacton Road, has two years to find new premises after selling its 43-acre site to a property which plans a mixed-use development on the site.

Just under 400 people are currently employed at the company which makes fluid systems for the engineering industry.

The site, opposite Ravenswood on Nacton, is currently earmarked for industrial use - and Ipswich council's economic development spokesman Richard Atkins said there would have to be discussions if anyone wanted to build homes there.


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Cranes plan to lease back their foundry and factory for two years while they look for alternative premises in the area.

Mr Atkins said: “We very much hope that Cranes find new premises within Ipswich itself, but we understand they may have to look a bit further afield.

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“The site is earmarked for employment use, but Cranes currently only occupy a very small part of it.

“It could be possible that a new factory and foundry could be built for them on a small part of the site, freeing up the rest for other business use.”

A few houses could be included in the site, it is believed the borough is anxious it should remain a predominantly industrial area.

Mr Atkins understood that work on developing the currently-empty part of the site is likely to start before Cranes itself moves out.

There are just under 400 people employed at the American-owned company, which was at one time the largest engineering employer in the area.

Figures coming out of America overnight said Allied Property and Leisure Group had paid £18 million for the site - which has good road links and could be connected to the neighbouring Felixstowe rail line if necessary.

Cranes has been based on Nacton Road since 1921, and at one stage well over 1,000 people worked there.

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