Ipswich: PM’s boost for beacon town project as our mugs invade Downing Street!

IPSWICH: As our Beacon Town campaign gathers strength, a series of massive boosts is lifting the mood across the area.

While work is underway on two major hotel projects and the John Lewis/Waitrose development, Prime Minister David Cameron has re-emphasised that the town is showing the country’s way out of the economic crisis.

The PM heard about the campaign during his visit to the Star’s office in Ipswich during the cabinet’s away-day to the town last year.

And he has a constant reminder after The Star sent down a consignment of our “I Love Ipswich” mugs which have been enthusiastically distributed around Downing Street by one of Mr Cameron’s speech writing team who comes from the town.

The PM said: “I really enjoyed my recent visit to Ipswich and particularly appreciate the Ipswich Star mugs you kindly gave me – which since seem to have spread across the whole of 10 Downing Street and are used by my staff!”

He described the I Love Ipswich, Beacon Town initiative as “The Big Society in action” and added: “I commend what you are doing, and hope that your work will provide a great example for other towns to follow.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the town’s message had resonated through Whitehall, and he was pleased work was already under way to follow up the conference on July 6.

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He said: “I have certainly been banging on the doors of Downing Street to get the message across from Ipswich, and I think what is happening here is really being watched closely.

“The way that influential people from all sections of the town are coming together is starting to pay dividends.

“Times remain tough, and there is not a great deal of money out there, but things are starting to happen in the town – developments are restarting and there is a more positive mood around.”

Ipswich Star editor Nigel Pickover said the letter from the PM showed the value of the Beacon Town campaign.

He said: “It is vital that people from different organisations around the town come together to work on promoting Ipswich as a great place to live and do business.

“When we come together like this the message gets out loud and clear – right into the cabinet room at 10 Downing Street!”

n Why do you love Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@ archant.co.uk