Ipswich gets £442,200 from Safer Streets Fund for improvements to Maple Park area

Maple Park, Ipswich, in the Westgate ward which has had problems with anti-social behaviour Picture:

Maple Park playground lies within the area awarded money from the Safer Street Fund - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Borough Council has been awarded almost half-a-million pounds in government funding to help improve safety in an area of the town affected by neighbourhood crime.

The £422,200 has been granted to Ipswich Borough Council from the Safer Streets Fund for improvements to the Maple Park area.

The town is among 40 areas of England and Wales to receive a total of £18.3million following successful bids to the Home Office.

Last year, Ipswich missed out on a £260,000 multi-agency bid to bring communities together and reduce crime in the area, formerly known as Jubilee Park .

However, a renewed bid by Ipswich Borough Council, understood to have covered an extended area, was included in the second round of the Safer Streets Fund for 2021/22.

In 2019, the playground at the heart of Maple Park received a six-figure Ipswich Borough Council funded facelift. 

Further improvements will now include better CCTV and street lighting, alley-gating to prevent access to the backs of properties, and unused space being made to feel owned and used by the community.

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Councillor Alasdair Ross, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, said: “I’m very pleased that we will now be able to introduce changes that will make life better for those living in Maple Park through winning this money.

"There will not just be less crime, but also the fear of this will be reduced.

"It’s a great win - and more than any other council in the East of England – and the council has won because of the work of the residents put into this bid. It’s a victory for us all.”

Ann Clarke, treasurer of the Friends of Maple Park residents group, added: "There is a lively and vibrant community around the Maple Park area and it is fantastic to see that the council has obtained this funding, which will go to improving the safety of the residents in the neighbourhood and those visiting."

Local authorities and police and crime commissioners in the East of England received £1.9m in funding, including Essex police and crime commissioner Roger Hirst, who received a grant of £432,000.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said the proposals had involved the constabulary, borough and county councils, voluntary groups, residents' associations and neighbourhood watch schemes.

He said the project would include street scene improvements and 'target hardening' – or strengthening the security of property to make it less prone to criminal activity.

"The funding complements a lot of commissioning we've done in the area," he said. 

"It's the icing on the cake.

"Importantly, it will help reduce demand on public services in the longer term – and that's got to be welcome."