Exciting plans unveiled for island site

IPSWICH Waterfront could have a £32million cultural centre at its heart, The Evening Star can reveal today.Ipswich Borough Council is looking to develop an interactive gallery and music centre and an open-air arts venue at the Waterfront's island site.

IPSWICH Waterfront could have a £32million cultural centre at its heart, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Ipswich Borough Council is looking to develop an interactive gallery and music centre and an open-air arts venue at the Waterfront's island site.

The project, known as The Island, has been hailed Ipswich's Convent Garden by the authority, which hopes to bring street performers to the site's open space.

The vision also includes plans to introduce three footbridges connecting the island to the mainland.

The Star previously reported the council's plans to bid for Big Lottery Fund money under the Living Landmarks scheme, a project aiming to create landmarks in communities across the country.

That bid has now been delivered to London and the authority is facing a five month wait to see if their project has been short-listed for funding.

Most Read

Judy Terry, Ipswich borough councillor responsible for culture and leisure, said: “Our vision is to create an interactive cultural centre on the island which would be the centrepiece of the Waterfront regeneration scheme.

“We are looking at it as a contemporary centre for Constable and Gainsborough collections because we have got the best collection of their work outside London.

“It could have a special educational visitors' centre where children could learn about what they are seeing and the link between Constable and the landscape.”

The borough council is working with several partners to bring the project to fruition.

These include Associated British Ports, the East of England Development Agency, the Environment Agency, the English Partnership and University Campus Suffolk.

Mrs Terry added: “This is building on our cultural strategy and will be a unique regional attraction which will have enormous benefits for tourism as well as culture.

“We are aware that the Waterfront is not just about the new rich, we have a lot of communities with their own needs nearby.

“This could provide a cultural link between the old and the new communities.”

N Ipswich Borough Council is bidding for £25m from the lottery's Living Landmarks scheme. The rest of the money will be raised locally

N Under Living Landmarks, the Big Lottery Fund will award a small number of grants of between £10m and £2m and one grant of between £25m and £50m. The bigger grant is to be decided by television audiences

N If successful the project is expected to create hundreds of jobs in Ipswich

N The Island is expected to include some play space for existing communities

N Ipswich council will learn if the project has been short-listed in May 2006

N If the bid is successful work is expected to begin in late 2007

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter