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Could Ipswich become a green oasis with cash from Town Deal Fund?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:39 28 October 2020

Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield from the Ipswich Oasis Project are being supported by former council leader Liz Harsant. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Faye Harburt and Richard Bloomfield from the Ipswich Oasis Project are being supported by former council leader Liz Harsant. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Now they are working with borough officials to draw up costings for the scheme and develop the proposals.

Could the Little Waitrose in Ipswich town centre become an indoor market?  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCould the Little Waitrose in Ipswich town centre become an indoor market? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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One of their key ideas is to create a “Green Wall” on one side of the former Paul’s Maltings silo at the Stoke Bridge entrance to the Waterfront – as well as planting trees and other plants on routes linking that area to the town centre.

Richard Bloomfield is one of the driving forces behind the Oasis Project and said: “It is great that the proposal made it on to the list – but we now have to fill in formal applications and draw up the cost of the proposals.”

He drew up the proposals with Faye Harburt – and they joined former council leader Liz Harsant and borough council chief executive Russell Williams in an online meeting to discuss how to take proposal forward.

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Mr Bloomfield said: “It is still early days and there are many aspects to the proposal – but if we could get a green wall on one side of the silo it would be an amazing entrance to the Waterfront.”

Another proposal to make a late entry into the list is the idea of an indoor market in the town centre – but existing stallholders had not heard anything about the proposal until the list was published at the start of the week.

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No site has been identified although there have been suggestions that the space in the Corn Exchange that is soon due to become vacant when the Little Waitrose closes could become a good place to start because it would only need a few stalls to feel quite full.

Existing stallholders said they would need to find out more about the proposals before saying what they thought of them – but some already know about operating in areas where there are both indoor and outdoor elements of markets.

That was a proposal that was included in the Town Deal list after being suggested by members of the public – it was not in the original proposals.

The board now has until December 11 to formally apply to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for up to £25m of government funding which is aimed at improving the town for a more prosperous future.


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