Major employer commits to Ipswich

A MAJOR employer today committed its future to Ipswich amid speculation it was set to quit the town.

A MAJOR employer today committed its future to Ipswich amid speculation it was set to quit the town.

Concern had been growing that Willis, which employs around 1,200 people in the town, could be set to join utilities giants E.ON by announcing a withdrawal from Ipswich.

The insurance firm has recently had its famous building off Civic Drive re-valued while the ongoing construction of a huge new skyscraper in London has done little to dampen speculation that the firm could be set to centralise operations.

However Willis has moved to end the rumours by announcing it is committed to the town, giving Ipswich's business community a timely boost in the process.


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A spokeswoman for the firm said the Civic Drive offices, designed by world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster, was re-valued as part of a routine process carried out every five years for tax and insurance purposes.

She said: “Willis has no plans whatsoever to sell our landmark building in Ipswich.

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“Our Ipswich operations play a critical role in our various businesses both in the UK and globally and we remain committed to maintaining our presence there.”

News of Willis committing to the town comes little more than a week after electricity firm E.ON revealed it is to close its Wherstead Park office in Ipswich, switching work to its UK head office in Coventry.

The move could leave up to 339 workers facing redundancy.

What do you think of E.ON's decision? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The Willis building:

In 1991 it became Britain's newest building to be given Grade I listing - meaning it can never be altered.

The building houses up to 1,300 office staff in open plan offices spread over three floors.

It also boasts a roof top garden with a 360 degree panoramic view.

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