Town drive to boost profile
IPSWICH is to fall into the international spotlight as the countdown begins to the England match.A high-profile campaign has been launched ahead of the friendly against Croatia, at Portman Road on August 20, which is hoped will bring a £10 million boost to the economy.
IPSWICH is to fall into the international spotlight as the countdown begins to the England match.
A high-profile campaign has been launched ahead of the friendly against Croatia, at Portman Road on August 20, which is hoped will bring a £10 million boost to the economy.
The town will play host to 30,000 fans from across the country for one of the most important games in its history.
Last night was the official start of Ipswich Council's campaign, called Football's Coming Home, which aims to raise the profile of the town on an international scale and boost tourism and investment in the Ipswich area.
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The name is in honour of Ipswich being the only club in the country to have supplied England with two managers – Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson.
Ipswich was also the only town to supply England with a World Cup winning manager, Sir Alf Ramsey, who led England to victory in 1966.
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Football's Coming Home was co-hosted by Ipswich Council and Ipswich MP Chris Mole at the Willis building in the town.
Guests included business and tourism leaders and leading councillors from Ipswich and Suffolk.
Ipswich MP Chris Mole said: "We are enormously lucky to get the England and Croatia game.
"It is an exciting event for the town and is an opportunity to put Ipswich on the map locally, nationally and internationally.
"Already lots of hotels are recording additional bookings and it means people can see what is changing in the Ipswich region."
Ipswich Mayor Penny Breakwell, said: "I'm really pleased that Ipswich has been selected for the England and Croatia game and it shows what an up and coming and exciting town we are."
A council spokesman said: "It is an opportunity for the business community to showcase its achievements on a national stage.
"Ipswich and Suffolk play a key role in the East of England economy and campaign organisers want to put on a high profile campaign so more people across the country and across the world recognise the fact.
"We want to bring £10 million extra to the local economy."
The council and its partners in the private sector are targeting key national media, economic and government figures in order to shout about the achievements of IP-City, the £350 million regeneration of the waterfront, Ipswich Village. It is hoped to promote the town as a regional shopping, leisure and sporting centre of excellence.
The campaign has an official song, Ipswich, by Radio One hit band Alliance, and a mascot, Whipper Bear, who has gone into Downing Street as a present for Leo Blair and Brooklyn and Romeo Beckham. Sales of the bear are already taking off.
England team sponsor Nationwide building society is planning a range of entertainment in the town in the run up to the match.
Ipswich based band Alliance will be singing live on match day from the Town Hall steps.