Work to create Theatre Square in Ipswich set to get the green light

Theatre Square artists impression

Theatre Square artists impression

Construction work to tidy up the former Civic Centre site in the heart of Ipswich – and to create a new public square in front of the New Wolsey Theatre.

A planning application by the new owners of the site is due to be considered by members of the borough’s planning and development committee tomorrow.

Their officers are recommending approval – and it would be a major surprise if the members of the committee rejected their advice.

The owners want to create new temporary car parking spaces – for up to five years – on the site of the former Civic Centre building which was demolished in 2009.

They also want to refurbish and update the underground spiral car park.

The car park work is expected to start within weeks – and the creation of Westgate Theatre Square is likely to be completed in about 12 months’ time.

This will include decking in front of the theatre – which will also create an outdoor performance area.

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There will be a new cafe facing on to the square, and a new pedestrian crossing over Civic Drive.

The scheme is being funded by the new owners of the site, Charterhouse Investments LLP, and has been drawn up by architects Waind Gohil and local firm AREA.

Sarah Holmes, chief executive at the New Wolsey Theatre said: “The site surrounding the New Wolsey Theatre has slowly been deteriorating since the Civic Centre was vacated and demolished, so I am delighted that it is now being developed by architects who have presented a high quality and exciting development plan.

“It is creating not only a great new public space but will also in time regenerate the whole of the site around us, so all New Wolsey Theatre customers will benefit from excellent parking, the use of the new series of terraces and amenities, and can take advantage of better access to the theatre and into the town centre.

“It’s the start of something very exciting for Ipswich!”