Meet the new group helping to run Ipswich town centre

Picture of Terry Baxter, chair of Ipswich Central in the town

Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter has announced seven new board members - Credit: Ipswich Central

The business group that runs Ipswich town centre has reshuffled its board in a bid to persuade companies to give it another five-year term organising the area.

Ipswich Central has unveiled new board members as it tries to persuade companies in the Business Improvement District in the heart of the town.

The BID is funded by companies operating in the town centre and provides everything from the familiar town centre rangers who patrol the streets, to organising events and looking at ways of developing the town centre.

The businesses pay a special levy to allow the BID to operate - and every five years, there is a ballot among them to see if they want this to continue.

Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter unveiled seven new board members - and said there could still be further appointments over the next few weeks.

He said this was linked to the vote that is due to take place during the second half of the year - and he wanted to show members and people who use the town centre that the group was prepared for the future.

He said: “Over the last year, we have dramatically expanded our role within Ipswich town centre.

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"We have done everything possible to support businesses through the very difficult period of Covid restrictions and we are now helping to win customers and employees back with marketing, communications and promotions.

“In addition, our sister company, All About Ipswich, has just released an ambitious plan to boost visitor numbers over the next two years and, together with partners, we have unveiled the hugely ambitious ‘Connected Town’ strategy for the development of the town.

"Part of this is to be funded by the Town Deal which includes the project to digitalise the town centre. With that breadth of important work, we need really great people to join us at Board level.”

The new board members are:

Lucy Baylis – head of creative programmes at DanceEast.

Derek Bowden – former chief executive of Ipswich Town Football Club and deputy chairman of Ipswich Building Society.

Paul Copsey –new chairman of the Suffolk Chamber, Ipswich group.

Ellie DeGory – partner of local architects EDRM, which worked on numerous projects in the area.

Mary Graham – director and co-owner of Yellobelly.

Terry Hunt – former editor of the Ipswich Star and EADT and the former chaiman of the Ipswich Vision board.

Sophie Alexander-Parker – Ipswich Central's chief operating officer.