MP lauds �600m Haven initiative

REGENERATION work in Ipswich and Felixstowe costing �600million has been praised by a Government minister.

Richard Cornwell

REGENERATION work in Ipswich and Felixstowe costing �600million has been praised by a Government minister.

Iain Wright, under secretary of state for communities and local government paid tribute to the shared vision and “joined-up thinking” of both private and public sector within the Haven Gateway sub-region, and commended the area's ambition and positive outlook.

The Haven Gateway Partnership (HGP) has drawn up a range of projects up to 2021 and beyond to create 50,000 jobs, improve transport links, tourism, the environment and quality of life in the area.

The area has already been identified as one of the region's “engines of growth” and now the team behind the project are trying to attract government and private sector money to build the facilities which are desperately needed to boost the economy.

In the next three years it wants to spend �51m and so far has secured �17.5m and received outline approval for another �20m.

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At a reception at the House of Commons organised by HGP and hosted by Ipswich MP Chris Mole, Mr Wright backed the partnership's plans and pledged government help.

“It is great that the Haven Gateway Partnership Integrated Development Programme (IDP) has identified priorities and packages based on themes, and the government wants to help meet these aspirations,” he said.

David Ralph chief executive of HGP, said: “The sub-region's greatest asset is its exceptional quality of place.

“Its further enhancement can only be achieved through additional investment in the sub-region's infrastructure.

“The IDP delivers a joined-up response to these issues, including setting out that as an international gateway economic growth is not just crucial to the future economic prosperity of the East of England, but also crucial to the future of UK PLC.”

The partnership knits together councils, private companies, University Campus Suffolk, small businesses and the Suffolk chamber, to co-ordinate the drive to carry out the projects.

- What projects are most needed to regenerate Ipswich and Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

FASTFACTS: Planning for the future

- IP-One - incorporating Ipswich flood defences, phase two of University Campus, town centre and Ipswich Village improvements.

- Ipswich East - infrastructure improvements for the eastern fringe of Ipswich, new transport link schemes, improvement of electricity supply and the establishment of a Knowledge Hub and E-Skills Academy.

- Regeneration of Felixstowe - a masterplan to improve its landscape and extend Trimley Marshes, sport and leisure and transport studies, new coastal defences, redevelopment along the seafront, and creation of civic space in the town centre.

- New tourist attractions, new hotels, improvements to key venues, and to ensure a lasting Olympic 2012 legacy.

- New homes - 65,000 in the area by 2021 with 35 per cent of them affordable.

- Further investment in higher education and projects to ensure there is an appropriately skilled workforce for 50,000 new jobs.

- Improvements to the Felixstowe to Nuneaton railway line, projects to deal with the increase in traffic on the A12, upgrading the A120, and backing a “dryport” project to improve cargo distribution.

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