Businesses in Ipswich are still struggling to recover from the lockdown despite a new report showing that the town is doing better than other East Anglian cities as the economy struggles to get back to normal.
Town centre bosses in Ipswich hope that the area could be winning back shoppers and other visitors in the wake of lockdown being lifted – just as retailers start thinking about the festive season ahead.
Last week Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter sent a letter to major employers asking them to get as many staff as possible back to work in their town centre offices and other premises in a bid to boost business in the heart of the town.
The appeal by Ipswich Central for major businesses to bring their employees back to the town centre has been met with sympathy by many of the largest organisations in the area – but with a warning there is little they can do while current government regulations remain in place.
Thousands of people flooded to Ipswich as non-essential shops opened for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown - with town centre managers saying it was “much, much busier than pundits predicted”.
What is the future of our town centres? Can people who have been in lockdown for months be persuaded to leave their homes and visit real shops – what should our High Streets do to encourage visitors to return?