Waterfront fun day to boost community

A DAY of activities is to be held at the water's edge in Ipswich to foster community spirit in a rapidly changing area of the town.

A DAY of activities is to be held at the water's edge in Ipswich to foster community spirit in a rapidly changing area of the town.

Next month's fete will have a village-style theme in a bid to bring together residents and businesses on the Waterfront.

It will be the second annual event organised by Waterfront Action after last year's successful launch, which attracted more than 1,000 people.

The group, formerly the Waterfront Community Group, has changed its name to avoid confusion with the separate Waterfront Community Centre in Grimwade Street.

The Waterfront is the focus of intense development and there were concerns the high-rise flats shooting up could make it difficult to encourage neighbourly relations.

But since being set up, Waterfront Action has helped to create more than 50 residents' and business groups.

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Jay Harvey, co-ordinator for Waterfront Action, said: “The idea has been coming from the people that they want residents groups.

“We help them get established and then look at what they can do to promote community relations.

“If you want an area to be friendly and vibrant, you need to get people talking to each other.”

Mr Harvey said the missing ingredient has been retail outlets and has called on more companies to take residence there.

He said: “With the hot weather, the Waterfront is buzzing, vibrant and full of people, but very limited on shops.

“There are plenty of properties there, but no one is moving into them. That would give more to draw people to the area to spend their money.”

The Waterfront Fete will take place on Saturday, September 19 from noon to 5pm between Pizza Express and Stoke Bridge.

There will business stands, games and restaurants showcasing food, as well as an art exhibition inside Customs House.

On the Sunday, eight churches will perform an open-air Songs of Praise service at 3pm in the same area.

For more information on Waterfront Action, to get involved in the fete or to set up a business or residents' group, please call Mr Harvey on 07731 991669 or e-mail: jay@waterfrontaction.co.uk.

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