Poles deliver boost to Ipswich

HAVING helped forge a new Britain in the wake of the Second World War, a fresh influx of Polish nationals was today being praised for their role in regenerating Ipswich.

HAVING helped forge a new Britain in the wake of the Second World War, a fresh influx of Polish nationals was today being praised for their role in regenerating Ipswich.

In the dark days following the war thousands of Poles moved to a devastated Britain, contributing vital skills to reconstruction work.

Now, 60 years later and following Poland's ascension to the EU, Ipswich's long-term rejuvenation is being aided by a fresh set of workers making a new home in the town.

Poland's chief economic attaché to the UK, Stefan Pawliczko, visited Ipswich to meet community leaders and take a tour of Grimwade Memorial Hall, a new development of flats that was built by a workforce including Poles.


You may also want to watch:


Mr Pawliczko said: “I'm very delighted to hear from the authorities of Ipswich that they recognise this contribution of Poles to this beautiful charming town.

“It means that a job has been done properly and in a professional way.”

Most Read

Hundreds of Polish workers are now employed in the construction industry as builders, plumbers or electricians while many others work as drivers for hauliers, couriers and bus companies.

Only a few years ago the number of Poles in the area stood at just a few hundred.

Mr Pawliczko said the new arrivals have much to offer the area.

He said: “I think they find a place here for some reasons - maybe because they have friends who are already here.

“I would say that among those Poles who have come here already there are many professionals who specialise in different branches. “Our young population in particular is very highly educated and I think that they can offer a lot in jobs such as construction and building as well as many other specialisms.”

The leader of the polish community in Ipswich, Edward Chwastek, said the enthusiasm of his fellow countrymen was key to their ability to prove a success in the local labour market.

Mr Chwastek, who lives in Kesgrave and has been in the country for 20 years, said: “They can do many of the jobs that there are a lack of people doing.

“A lot of people coming across want to work and want to work hard.”

Richard Atkins, Liberal Democrat group leader at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “Polish people play a vital part in the growing Ipswich community and we are really grateful for their help in the revitalisation of Ipswich and its economy.”

Have you made a new life in Ipswich? Tell us your story by writing to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

There are currently some 5,000 Polish nationals in the greater Ipswich area, making it the largest ethnic minority group.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter