Good for business

SUFFOLK'S economy is set to get a multi-million pound boost as the biggest commercial land sale for more than a decade goes through.The Evening Star can today confirm that the last remaining undeveloped land at Ransomes Europark has been sold in a deal estimated to be worth around £15million.

SUFFOLK'S economy is set to get a multi-million pound boost as the biggest commercial land sale for more than a decade goes through.

The Evening Star can today confirm that the last remaining undeveloped land at Ransomes Europark has been sold in a deal estimated to be worth around £15million.

The identity of the firms buying the greenfield land can also be revealed - Woodbridge-based development company Winro Ltd and Maro Developments Ltd, which is based in the north west of the country.

Contracts have already been exchanged between seller Ransomes plc and buyers Winro and Maro Developments and the sale is expected to complete by the end of the summer.

The buyers plan to develop the site - which at a little over 53 acres is the size of around 31 football pitches - as a business park with a mix of offices, warehouses, industrial units and possibly even some trade counters.

David Winch, director of Winro, said: "Ipswich is experiencing a major revival as a commercial centre. In our view, Ransomes Europark is the prime commercial site in the town, and we're delighted to have secured the final phase.

Most Read

"We believe the expanding Ipswich market requires further high quality accommodation and that Ransomes Europark is the location where it should be provided."

Ransomes Europark was first launched in 1990, with plans to make it a 250-acre business park.

Since then, four-fifths of the site has been developed and Ransomes plc has been acquired by American multi-national Textron Inc.

The 53 acres now being sold is the last portion of undeveloped land on the site.

Steve Chicken, Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd - the trading name of Ransomes plc - said: "We are pleased to have exchanged contracts with Winro and Maro for the sale of the final phase of our surplus land."

The deal has been welcomed as a boost for the Ipswich area.

Bob Feltwell, chief executive for the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: "Anything which encourages more business to come to Suffolk - and particularly to Ipswich - is good for the local economy.

"It will provide jobs and it will encourage the development of this part of greater Ipswich.

"It is good news that there is interest in buying land for development in Ipswich and we hope it will bring business."

John Spice, head of commercial at Bidwells Ipswich, which has been advising the purchasers, said: "The commercial property sector in Ipswich has really taken off in the past 18 months and the forthcoming development of the Ransomes Europark site offers a fantastic opportunity for relocating businesses.

"This is one of the prime development sites in Ipswich and we are already getting a lot of interest from businesses who want to be here."

He added it was likely that land on this site would be selling for "around £300,000 an acre and upwards", althought the exact price would depend on factors including where each portion of land is and what planning permission it has.

What do think of this deal? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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