Redevelopment of Portman Road 'will breathe new life' into Ipswich

A football club with its eyes on the Premier League is at the centre of plans for a "transformative development" that will breathe new life into its community.

Ipswich Town and the area's borough council are working together to rejuvenate the area around Portman Road, where the club has played since 1884.

Central to the development would be a new aquatics centre, including a cafe, spa, gym, fitness studio and soft play area.

There are also plans for a new hotel and public spaces, and to improve pedestrian links between the stadium and the town centre.

A proposed redevelopment of the area around Ipswich Town Football Club would include a new aquatics centre. Credit: Ingleton Wood LLP

Neil MacDonald, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said the development would revitalise the town and champion "the spirit of our community".

He added: "This project is set to become a community jewel, a beacon of how sports, leisure, and communal well-being are valued in Ipswich.

"Together, we are not just building facilities; we are building hope, opportunity, and a legacy of communal well-being.

"As we move forward, the focus shifts to attracting forward-thinking investors who share our vision for a healthier, more vibrant Ipswich."

The plans will also leave the way open for a redevelopment of the club's Cobbold Stand.

Ipswich Town are currently just a point outside of the automatic promotion places and are jostling for a place in the Premier League with Leicester City and Leeds United.

It would mark a long-awaited return to football's top flight following relegation in 2002.

Mark Ashton, Ipswich Town's chief executive, said: "The redevelopment of the Cobbold Stand and an increase in capacity has been part of our long-term masterplan for the stadium and, while it must be stressed no work is imminent, we are pleased to have been able to work with Ipswich Borough Council to identify the required land to make this possible."

The planning proposal for the aquatics centre and area "masterplan" will be submitted later in the spring, with a public consultation running until 26 March.

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