Land handover brings university closer

TOWN leaders were set to hand over millions of pounds worth of land today in a deal with University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

TOWN leaders were set to hand over millions of pounds worth of land today in a deal with University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

Ipswich Borough Council's executive committee was expected to rubber stamp the handover of 1.94 hectares of land at Orwell Quay. The land, worth an estimated £7million, will be used to build the new university.

Originally due to take place last month, the transfer was delayed due to council elections on May 4.

The decision comes just weeks after the official launch off the UCS prospectus and is expected to delight project leaders keen to secure the final handover of land for the university.

Richard Atkins, who has planning and economic development responsibility at the council, said: “The borough council originally took ownership of 1.94 hectares of land at Orwell Quay in a landswap with Associated British Ports, who acquired 5.78 hectares of land at Cliff Quay and some riverbed downstream to further their port operations.

“Ipswich and Suffolk have been trying to get a university established in the county for more than 50 years. Suffolk is one of only two counties without a university and this has been a major impediment to economic growth and to raising the aspirations and educational attainment of residents.”

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The executive committee is expected to give the go-ahead to the transfer at a meeting tomorrow evening, though it will be subject to government approval.

Mr Atkins added: “The education quarter is mainly in the ownership of three major landowners - Suffolk College, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.

“By bringing all the land assets together in the waterfront the education quarter should accommodate a new Suffolk College and the future growth of UCS for many years to come.

“This development will lead to the overall regeneration of the Education Quarter and the remaining areas of the Waterfront, which will have a positive impact on the town centre and also on the overall economy of Ipswich and Suffolk.”

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