Plans to transform Ipswich town centre

Plans to transform Ipswich town centre Credit: ITV News Anglia

New plans have been unveiled to transform Ipswich town centre to encourage more urban living. The vision is to create the UK’s first ‘connected town centre’, through new housing development on unused sites and by converting redundant buildings and empty upper floors.

Planners hopes it will make the town centre more desirable for residents Credit: ITN News Anglia

The plan is to also introduce uses that will encourage people to live and stay locally. These might include schools and educational facilities, a music venue, an outdoor gym, and more green areas, cycling and walking routes.

Ipswich marina has seen similar development over the last few decades Credit: ITV News Anglia

The idea is to recreate a town centre that will reflect the way in which people are starting to live. It's aimed at those who work from home and as a destination for people staying locally and choosing Ipswich and Suffolk as a place to visit. Planners have £25 million from the government’s Town Fund to help kick-start the revival.

Buildings will be developed for residential purposes Credit: ITV News Anglia

You can find out more about the vision here and further plans here

What are the features of a connected town centre?

  • Re-thinking of town centres as neighbourhoods

  • High density and varied residential accommodation

  • Flexible workspaces

  • Convenience to and from all requisite facilities and amenities (e.g., shops, health centres, fresh food, arts, culture, education, libraries, schools, churches, social clubs, youth centres, markets etc. etc.)

  • Prioritisation for pedestrians and cyclists

  • Green and open spaces

  • Multifunctional spaces and buildings

  • Digitalisation and teleworking

What differences will this make to Ipswich?

  • More people using the town centre more often and for longer

  • Greater sense of community

  • Many more people living in the town centre

  • More demand from a wider range of businesses and providers to locate close to the town centre community

  • New employment opportunities

  • Vacant sites, buildings and upper floors made available for residential conversion

  • Safer places

  • More things to do

  • Development of a 24/7 economy

  • Better and more intensive use of technology

  • More people buying from local independent businesses

  • The 15-minute drive-time catchment developed as the primary visitor audience and from which new residents will be attracted

  • A more attractive and convenient place for people to visit and stay (e.g., staycations)