Mole urges return to centre
IPSWICH MP Chris Mole has called on businesses to shun out-of-town developments and invest in the town centre.He said an avalanche of such schemes would not be good for the area.
IPSWICH MP Chris Mole has called on businesses to shun out-of-town developments and invest in the town centre.
He said an avalanche of such schemes would not be good for the area.
The Labour MP spoke out after the Evening Star revealed there were 100 empty shops in the town centre and launched a We're Backing Ipswich campaign to help revive the retail areas which have been neglected.
Mr Mole said: “I hope nothing changes to encourage more out of town retail.
“We have put the breaks on that. People are investing in Ipswich and we would not want to see an avalanche of out-of-town retail.”
Mr Mole said the developments on Norwich Road showed how boosting one area could improve the Ipswich generally.
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There was a risk the Norwich Road area could be ignored but now it is full of shops run by people who live nearby, he said.
Traders from a range of nations have set up in the street over the past two years and Mr Mole said this was good for the town.
“Now there are Portugese, Polish, Chinese and Russian people there,” he said.
Politicians and businesses want to see the range of stores and facilities in the town centre rise.
Ipswich has Business Improvement District (BID) status and more than 100 firms have signed up as members of the Ipswich Partnership.
The BID will help improve areas like Upper Brook Street and Upper Orwell Street, which have several empty, boarded-up shops.
Local stores are waiting on the Mint Quarter development, for which Shearer Property Group is trying to secure a number of major chains, including upmarket department store John Lewis for a 40,000 sq ft anchor store.
Last month a Star survey showed the number of shops in Ipswich which are closed.
It has launched the We're Backing Ipswich campaign to try to boost some of the town's less fortunate streets.
What part of Ipswich do you think is most in need of development? Do you think businesses have ignored where you live? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com