Multi-million pound boost for Ipswich

IPSWICH'S historic Waterfront is set to get a multi-million pound boost within days as the developer of the former Cranfields Mill is announced.The buildings on the Waterfront were taken over by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) after Cranfields closed at the end of 1999.

IPSWICH'S historic Waterfront is set to get a multi-million pound boost within days as the developer of the former Cranfields Mill is announced.

The buildings on the Waterfront were taken over by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) after Cranfields closed at the end of 1999.

A competition was run to find a developer to take on the key site – and EEDA is set to announce the winner within the next few days.

That will clear the decks for work to start on transforming the Waterfront land.

Some of the buildings will be converted for new uses, others will be demolished allowing new development altogether.

Homes and offices are to be built on the site – along with some specialist shops.

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The cost of the whole development has not been released – but it's set to run into many millions of pounds.

Ipswich council leader Peter Gardiner said the news that an announcement was imminent was a real boost for the town.

"We've always said that site is absolutely crucial for the future of the Waterfront.

"It is nearer the town centre than many others in the Waterfront. As such it is a vital link between the town and the Wet Dock area," he said.

"We are very pleased that progress is being made, and are looking forward to seeing the detailed plans for the site."

Ipswich MP Chris Mole was vice-chairman of EEDA when the deal to buy the former mill was agreed.

"I am delighted that a development partner has finally been agreed for such a vital site in the town.

"I hope that work soon gets underway to transform that area."

An EEDA spokesman said there was still no timescale for construction work to start or the project to be completed, but said the agreement with a developer was significant.

"It means that the work will be in the hands of our development partner – and things should start to happen later in the year," he said.