Ipswich is ‘already flourishing’ claims council leader – but town will play vital role in bringing 80,000 jobs to East Anglia by 2036
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich is a thriving cultural hub which will play a vital role in attracting new business leaders and bringing increased investment to East Anglia.
That’s the message from Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) leader David Ellesmere as Ipswich is named as a priority growth area tipped to help create 80,000 jobs and draw 30,000 new businesses to the region by 2036.
An action plan for the town is outlined in the council’s corporate plan drawn up in response to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk, both of which are due to be discussed at IBC’s executive committee tomorrow.
The documents name Ipswich as a “priority place” alongside Norwich and sets out key development and investment targets for the town.
Mr Ellesmere said: “Clearly Ipswich is a town that is already flourishing – but this strategy indicates that we can do even better. We have a great cultural offer, in many respects Ipswich is a thriving cultural and digital hub and I think this will help us on our way to playing quite a vital role in attracting these new businesses and increase investment opportunities.
“Just a few weeks ago we were named as the number one town in the UK for start-ups, particularly digital ones, and we want to continue this success.”
Kickstarting the next development phase of the Waterfront is among several priority actions laid out for Ipswich in the strategy. Council bosses say they are already on track with this objective, with teams collaborating with New Anglia LEP to restart work on the Winerack. Reducing the number of eyesore sights, improving the town centre – which Mr Ellesmere said is already underway with upmarket stores such as Jack Wills, Kiko Milano and Swarovski – and making sure Ipswich is a great place to experience arts and entertainment are also on the list of key targets.
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New Anglia LEP’s managing director Chris Starkie said Ipswich is already a key economic centre. But he added: “We believe it has the potential to achieve even more. The LEP has been working with IBC and other partners to develop the Ipswich Vision, which has set a clear set of priorities to support the town’s growth.
“The new economic strategy will help support these ambitions, including work to support the town as a retail, cultural and leisure destination.”