Ipswich Waterfront Gateway eyed for £1m in key pilot scheme

The Gateway area of Ipswich Waterfront is one of the headline projects for the money Picture: LUCY T

The Gateway area of Ipswich Waterfront is one of the headline projects for the money Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Plans to invest £1million in a key stretch of Ipswich connecting the town centre with the Waterfront have been announced as part of a multi-million pound pilot for Suffolk.

A model of The Hold that is due to open at the end of next year. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

A model of The Hold that is due to open at the end of next year. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Suffolk is one of 10 areas running a pilot scheme for the year which allows councils to retain 100% of the business rates it collects and invest it into the county.

Currently councils retain 50% of business rates to invest in their areas while the other half goes to central government.

It means that Suffolk is expecting to collect a further £10.4m it can invest into the county, with Ipswich earmarking just over £2m of that for schemes in the area.

Around £1m is being eyed for developing the Waterfront Gateway area between DanceEast and Cardinal Park, an area considered a key connection between the town centre and Waterfront.

Elsewhere £200,000 has been earmarked for The Hold being developed near the university for Suffolk’s archives, and £500,000 on public areas such as St Peter’s Docks area, the Cornhill and Arras Square.

A further £300,000 has been targeted for addressing housing pressures, including £150,000 towards the purchase and conversion works for more homeless provision and £150,000 towards providing specialist housing for adults with learning disabilities.

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Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “The whole point of this pilot is to continue allowing the areas that generate business rates to spend more of them than central government can.

“The Waterfront Gateway is something that people do want to see something done, and it’s been a priority for us.

“We have purchased two of the sites already and this will enable us to make more progress – we will see a real difference from this money.”

Leaders hope the scheme will show good growth in the county which will encourage central government to continue allowing it to retain more of its business rates. It is understood once the pilot has finished the government will consider allowing councils to retain 75% rather than 100%, which will still be worth around £7.5m in Suffolk.

The final proposals are being put together over the next six weeks, before being implemented from September onwards.


•£500,000-£700,000 - Waterfront Gateway

•£500,000 - Enhanced public areas such as the Cornhill, Arras Square

•£300,000 - Addressing Ipswich housing pressures, including homelessness provision and for adults with learning disabilities

•£200,000 - The Hold

West Suffolk

•£500,000-£700,000 - Brandon Health and Leisure Centre

•£500,000-£700,000 - Development of sports hall in Newmarket

•£250,000 - Supporting highways and infrastructure schemes

•£200,000 - Supporting Western Way development

•£500,000 - Expanding social prescribing

•£TBA - Deliver town centre masterplans for Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill

Babergh and Mid Suffolk

•£500,000 - Sudbury town centre development

•£200,000 - Angel Court housing development

•£200,000 - investing in the Delphi site as a business centre

•£40,000 - SMART Grid energy project for the former Sugar Beet site

•£240,000 - Revamp of the Stowmarket Natwest building

•£300,000 - Develop Needham Lake visitor centre

•£200,000 - Develop a tech hub in Stowmarket

•£150,000 - Support the Stowmarket Foyer redevelopment

•£50,000 - Develop a youth support sceheme in Stowmarket with The Mix

East Suffolk

•£200,000 - Develop a Future Fibre network in Lowestoft

•£100,000 - First Light Festival in Lowestoft

•£500,000 - Developing supported housing in Cleveland Road for autistic people to live independently

•£200,000 - Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone project

•£100,000 - Tourism development in Aldeburgh/Slaughden

•£300,000 - Felixstowe Seafront south development

•£200,000 - Felixstowe Seafront Leisure Centre development

•£200,000 - Leiston Leisure Centre development

•£100,000 - Rendlesham Village Centre

•£800,000 - Car parking and drainage in Woodbridge