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Start date announced for Sproughton sugar beet site development

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 September 2018

The silos at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site have been knocked down ahead of the enterprise park development Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

The silos at the Sproughton sugar beet factory site have been knocked down ahead of the enterprise park development Picture: NICOLE DRURY, IBC

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Bosses behind the development of the former Sproughton sugar beet site have confirmed it will not be used as another out-of-town retail park.

Left to right: Babergh District Council planning portfolio holder Nick Ridley, LDH logistics director Paul Nicholas, Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere and Chris Dashper, head of programmes at the New Anglia LEP at the Sproughton sugar beet site Picture: JASON NOBLELeft to right: Babergh District Council planning portfolio holder Nick Ridley, LDH logistics director Paul Nicholas, Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere and Chris Dashper, head of programmes at the New Anglia LEP at the Sproughton sugar beet site Picture: JASON NOBLE

Ipswich Borough Council bought the site three years ago and announced it would be redeveloped into Sproughton Enterprise Park.

A £40million warehouse for food distribution firm La Doria Ltd (LDH) was confirmed as the first phase of work earlier this year.

In a gathering of key figures involved on Friday, Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere outlined his vision for the rest of the development.

“The whole reason we bought this was to protect it so it didn’t become out of town retail, we want to protect the town centre if we can, so we are looking for similar occupiers to LDH and we’re pretty certain from the interest we have had that it will be able to be built out for those purposes,” he said.

“Everybody can see the potential of this site, but what helps is when you start to see things on the ground and to have a first occupier in is really important. I think it will start to unlock further development.”

Mr Ellesmere added that it was a “very visible sign” of Ipswich’s economic regeneration.

Paul Nicholas, logistics director at LDH said that the site’s location near the A12 and A14, coupled with the close links to the Port of Felixstowe made it an ideal site.

He confirmed that with exploratory ground work complete, the anticipation was for the development itself to start in late October or early November.

Sugar Beet Site development Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYSugar Beet Site development Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The LDH development alone is expected to create 100 jobs, with more anticipated once other plots are filled.

Alongside the work on LDH’s warehouse, work on the spine road set to run through the site will be one of the early priorities.

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has invested £500,000 from its Growing Business Fund to help support the creation of new jobs.

It is among more than £20m awarded through the fund to date, helping create at least 2,400 jobs.

Chris Dashper, head of programmes at the LEP, said: “We have contact all the time from businesses looking to move in.

“They will see this development will be the touchstone for the site that businesses coming forward. We are talking to businesses across all of Norfolk and Suffolk for the potential opportunities.”

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