Room for gloom in the village

WHAT a difference a few months makes for Ipswich Village!In spring this year, everything seemed rosy for the new business district in the heart of Ipswich.

By Tracey Sparling

WHAT a difference a few months makes for Ipswich Village!

In spring this year, everything seemed rosy for the new business district in the heart of Ipswich.

The football club's new north stand was taking shape and on the other side of the ground, TXU's smart new headquarters was getting larger every day.

Now the stand is completed – but fans aren't enjoying the football they are

watching from it.

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And while work continues on the new office block, it won't be occupied by TXU or any other power giant.

That could have a devastating knock-on effect for the area.

Plans have already been submitted for new office accommodation in the area – but with a massive block standing unoccupied nearby why would anyone want to build new offices there?

Officials at Ipswich council remain upbeat about the area – saying there is a clear demand for office space in that part of town.

When the Constantine House offices, currently occupied on a short-term lease by TXU staff, are added to the equation, it is

difficult to see the need for any further offices there in the near future.

Work on the new Crown Court building is due to start next week, and that will give the area a boost – but will it be enough to give it the kick-start needed?

The job fears at TXU come days after the announcement that 100 jobs are to go at Agilent Technologies in Ipswich, bringing the number of jobs lost by the technology firm in the town to 350 in just over a year.

Total staff numbers in Ipswich will be reduced to around 250, with the US-owned company blaming the job cuts on on-going pressures to manage costs in what it called a technology downturn of "unprecedented depth and duration".

Cuts in the Ipswich workforce will be made across all areas, in contrast to last year – in pump laser manufacturing. The latest reductions were part of a down-sizing process affecting Agilent's operations worldwide, although the US headquarters has not confirmed total global losses.