450 new jobs expected in next phase of Ipswich sugar beet site expansion
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Work is to progress on expanding a commercial park on the edge of Ipswich that will create another 450 jobs, after leaders gave the next stage their backing.
Ipswich Borough Council's executive last week agreed to the sale of three further plots of land across 15 acres at the Eastern Gateway site - the former Sproughton sugar beet site being developed as a growing business park.
It also agreed to begin appointments of design consultants and contractors.
The facility, which saw LDH La Doria food distribution firm and Amazon occupy units in the first phase, has already brought 500 jobs.
New phases are expected to bring another 450 new roles.
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: "This has been a successful project so far, the site has been transformed since the borough council bought it.
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"We have had demolition clearance works, including the iconic silos, had the construction of roads and infrastructure, and we have occupiers on two large plots currently employing in the region of 500 people.
"The report seeks permission to enter negotiations with the occupiers of three new plots, encompassing the development of industrial storage units, the provision of EV charging infrastructure and an existing Ipswich business consolidating its operations at Eastern Gateway.
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"It is expected this will bring another 450 jobs to the site. That is obviously very good news given the unemployment situation as a result of Covid."
He added: "I’m proud that our foresight in buying the sugar beet site has paid off and we are now able to help bring hundreds of new jobs to Ipswich."
Work on completing infrastructure measures needed, such as roads, drainage and utilities will get underway in order to facilitate the next three occupiers.
Those will be funded from more than £9million in retained business rates.
Once those three move in, around 70% of the entire site will be occupied, leaving around 18 acres to fill, according to the council report.
The site was vacated by British Sugar in 2001, with the borough council purchasing the land in 2014 to take advantage of the economic growth opportunities it presented.
Planning permission was secured in April 2018 for LDH's unit, completed in late summer 2019.
That same summer, Amazon agreed a deal for a distribution and logistics centre, completed in July 2020.