Waterfront bucks the economic trend

AS the economic slowdown seems to bite harder there were bound to be worries that the slowdown in the economy would hit major developments in the centre of Ipswich.

AS the economic slowdown seems to bite harder there were bound to be worries that the slowdown in the economy would hit major developments in the centre of Ipswich.

While some projects in the town have clearly slowed down as the credit crunch tightens, it is encouraging that the town's largest projects - on the Waterfront - are continuing to develop on a daily basis.

The Mill development, on the site of the former Cranfield's Mill, continues to go up by a floor every week and by the end of next month should be ready for its topping-out ceremony.

By then it will be the tallest building in Suffolk at 23 storeys and should dominate the Waterfront skyline.

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Back down to earth, it is good to see that businesses retain confidence in the Suffolk economy.

New bars are opening to help draw people into the area - that is vital if the Waterfront is to be truly integrated into the town - and the walk beside the water is due to be fully open over the next few days.

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The developers, of course, had already started work before the credit crunch and recession fully struck - and by the time The Mill and the neighbouring Regatta Quay development are completed next year there are real hopes that the economy will be showing signs of recovery.

Everyone in the area will be hoping that by the time these two developments are completed the Suffolk economy will be bouncing back, encouraging developers to look at other sites in the area which are ready to be transformed.

FURTHER evidence of the effect of the slowdown has come with the news that more than 30 jobs are under threat at Direct MotorLine insurance company in Ipswich.

A decade ago this was one of the rising stars of the town's insurance boom - but now the work is being transferred to other offices in the UK.

For those whose jobs are under threat this is obviously a very worrying time - although the number of insurance jobs in Ipswich today should offer encouragement that vacancies may be created elsewhere in the town.

Many of those who sill be facing the difficult task of looking for a new job may well be young people who have never experienced the harsh realities of a recession before.

For them this period of recession will undoubtedly be especially worrying.

IPSWICH Town have not got their season off to the sparkling start the fans hoped for just a few short weeks ago.

But they have started to achieve something that has been lacking over the last few years - the start of a run in the Carling Cup.

Last night's victory over the teams most local of rivals, Colchester United, will have given the Tractor Boys' fans fresh heart - especially the encouraging debut of new boy Ivan Campo.

The disappointment of two home defeats in the league have not been completely forgotten by home successes against two lower-league clubs in the Carling Cup.

But at least they show that the team does know the way to the goal - and the fans will now be hoping they can repeat this kind of performance in the league at Portman Road.

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