Derelict Ipswich waterfront silo may be turned into leisure attraction

The R&W Paul silo at Ipswich waterfront

The R&W Paul silo at Ipswich waterfront - Credit: Jason Noble/LDRS

Plans have been teased for a derelict Ipswich landmark to be redeveloped to include public uses that will offer people spectacular views across the Waterfront.

Full plans for the former R&W Paul silo, which was bought by Ipswich Borough Council in 2018, are still being formed, but the council said it wants the top part to have a leisure use for the public.

And there are hopes the slip road from College Street that is currently closed will remain shut so it can be incorporated into public open space plans for the Waterfront gateway area where the temporary car park presently sits.

Labour council leader David Ellesmere said: “We are looking at potential use for the top floor so the public can have access to it for leisure use, and people can get views over the Waterfront. The details are not decided but that’s what we are looking for.”

On the Waterfront gateway area more broadly, Cllr Ellesmere said a length of the wall running from the former merchant house currently undergoing renovation work will be demolished to open up views of the Waterfront.

Ipswich Borough Council’s decisions register says it has enlisted the services of a structural engineering firm to ‘undertake surveys and a preliminary design of works required to the R&W Paul Silo, for its proposed future usage as mixed-use leisure building’.

The R&W Paul silo at Ipswich waterfront

The R&W Paul silo at Ipswich waterfront - Credit: Jason Noble, LDRS

Ian Fisher, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said the group was disappointed at the length of time the gateway improvements were taking – particularly for the merchant house and Paul’s silo.

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“Both these properties have been under council ownership for a number of years and it is sad to see them still in the derelict state they both were in when we purchased them,” he said.

“I think the inactivity to this date hides a complete lack of vision for the area and we have missed opportunities by not developing the site sooner.

“The Conservative group would like to see the Waterfront gateway area transformed into an area that highlights the historical importance of the docks to the town of Ipswich and would like to see the development of a Waterfront visitor centre."

Oliver Holmes from the council’s Liberal Democrat group, said: “We support the proposals to close the slip road and to make this space and the temporary car park available for what could be a really attractive entrance to the Waterfront.”