Could Ipswich’s small shopping centres get boost from Town Deal?
PUBLISHED: 05:30 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:51 02 October 2020
For decades they’ve been the forgotten, and overlooked, glue that binds Ipswich communities together – but a new era could be on the way for the town’s neighbourhood shopping centres.
One of the proposals in the list of possible projects for the bid for the £25m Town Deal fund is a package to improve and upgrade neighbourhood centres across the town – small community shopping areas that have found a new lease of life during and since lockdown.
North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter has been pressing the claim of these areas – he has several in his constituency which serve a large number of households which are within walking distance of the shops and pubs there.
He said: “It has sometimes felt that these areas have missed out a bit with the emphasis on larger centres and superstores but they serve a very important purpose and it would be good to see some attention given to them.
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“I am aware of the importance of them in my constituency, but the same thing applies to neighbourhood centres all over the town – in Gainsborough and Chantry as well as in Whitehouse and Whitton.”
In the Dales Road neighbourhood shopping centre, which includes a bakery, a Co-op, a Post Office and a computer centre among other businesses, people felt it could do with some improvement.
Local resident Lucky Singh said: “It could do with a bit of money spent to improve the parking – it is often full up and the area doesn’t look very good. You get a lot of people stopping off here to pop into the shops. It could certainly do with a bit of attention.”
He felt the pedestrian crossing should be improved, and possibly the surface improved to emphasise that it was a busy area giving pedestrians more confidence about crossing over the road while collecting shopping.
Ed Cook is manager of the Penny Lane computer shop and repair centre – and agreed that parking was an issue: “It should be tidied up but also there should be better enforcement. There is supposed to be a limited-time parking but you often see cars left here all day or for several days at a time.”
He also said work to improve the look of the area would be welcome.
People have until next Friday to say which proposals they would like to see implemented – or to write in their own ideas for improvements to the town.
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