Ipswich: £160k Cash Boost

5 May 2013, 07:30 | Updated: 5 May 2013, 07:37

More than a hundred and sixty thousand pounds is being spent on Ipswich town centre.

Ipswich Central has been awarded £168,057 which will be put into improving the town centre and waterfront areas.

The money's come from the X-Fund High Street Renewal Award. The scheme was based upon recommendations from the TV personality, Mary Portas, who has advised the government on how to revive town centres and has repeatedly emphasised the importance of identifying centres of excellence, particularly those which have a BID in place.

Numerous towns and cities are believed to have entered, but only seven have been selected as winners and Ipswich is one of them with an award of £168,057.  It is also the only BID to have been included in the winning seven. The Government recruited a panel of industry experts to judge the award. 

Ipswich Central's entry, entitled "Turning Our Town Around", is based on the Vision to better link the Waterfront with the main retail and commercial core. The entry was supported by Ipswich Borough Council and was submitted through the BID's Vision Group, chaired by Richard Lister, Deputy Provost at University Campus Suffolk, and includes Ben Gummer MP, Suffolk County Council, and other business leaders. 

When the judging panel visited Ipswich as part of their shortlisting exercise, they heard about proposals for an international competition to redesign the Cornhill together with the creation of the new Blackfriars and Saints Quarters as links to the Waterfront.  They also saw new hotel schemes under construction; had demonstrations of the new 'AllAboutIpswich' website and app developed by the BID; and were told of plans to extend the 'Celebrate Ipswich' promotion to encourage new visitors.

Ipswich Central intends to hold an update session for all BID Zone members to explain what the award means for Ipswich and to discuss the plans that the BID has for the next stage of the Vision process.

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