How Ipswich Waterfront saw dramatic change in 2019 with £750,000 revamp
PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 04 January 2020
Ipswich Waterfront has seen a dramatic transformation this year - with the long-awaited completion of the Winerack and a £750,000 revamp.
It has become one of the town's most popular beauty spots, as well a hive of fun and festivities, but 2019 was the year it started looking finished.
The Winerack, which has long stood as a reminder of the financial crash of 2008, has been completed and the entrance to the Waterfront redeveloped with new paving and parking areas.
However, councillors say this is just the beginning for the area, which they say is becoming a 'jewel in the crown' of the town.
Paul West, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, said; "I think last year has been fantastic - it's been another leap forward for the Waterfront.
"Not only have we for the big upgrade in paving, the £750,000 investment from the county and borough council, at long last the Winerack has been completed after many, many years of waiting.
"That has brought the area up even further this year.
"We look forward to next year now when the borough council building just along from the new paved area will be brought back into use.
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"It is an important area for the town as it is something that Ipswich has that a lot of places do not. It's something Ipswich can offer to draw people in.
"It's close to the station and is a big jewel in Ipswich's crown."
David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council said: "After many years of development being stalled on the Waterfront by the financial crash, it's really pleasing things have been coming together this year.
"We have seen the repaving works at the entrance which has really lifted the area.
"With the completion of the work on the Winerack and the paving and roadworks outside Dance East, the final few pieces of the Waterfront are coming together. While this is really positive, there's still a lot that needs doing."
Mr Ellesmere said he was especially proud of the line up of entertainment the Waterfront was attracting.
As well as the hugely popular annual Maritime, Art Eat and Pride festivals, it has hosted a wide range of other entertainment, including the Noah's Ark floating museum.
Grant Owen, a member of the Waterfront Tenants Association who owns The Forge said that he has seen an increase in business over the past two years.
"We could see that there was investment in the Waterfont and that's one of the reasons why we chose to open the business here.
"The area has improved and the feeling I get from meetings I have been to is that the council don't think the job is done and that should mean that the investment should continue."