Ipswich town centre study will look at ‘must change’ future


Ipswich Cornhill

Image caption

A £9,000 study will look into the future of Ipswich’s town centre

A study into the future of a town centre has begun to look at ways of helping it “thrive in the future”.

The £9,000 survey will look at the challenges faced by businesses in Ipswich, the borough council’s Labour leader said.

David Ellesmere said the findings were due to be published over the summer.

Ipswich Central, which represents businesses in the town centre, said “creative ideas” were needed to help the high street.

Image caption

Ipswich Central said town centres and high streets “must change”

Mr Ellesmere said the state of retail was “a fast-moving situation”.

“The updated retail study is needed to ensure we have a robust and up-to-date evidence base for planning policies in the town centre that reflect current realities,” he said.

“This will look at how much retail space is required and what other uses, such as leisure or housing, may also be required to ensure that Ipswich town centre thrives in future.”

Image caption

The study will help inform the local plan being drawn up for the town

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the study would look at business rates, threats from out-of-town retail parks and online shopping and what would be needed in the future.

It would help inform the council’s local plan being drawn up for the town this year, and follows on from a joint study with Suffolk Coastal District Council carried out by WYG in 2017.

More on long-term planning for Ipswich town centre:

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “Retail remains absolutely vital, but we have got to face the reality that it will not dominate, to the extent it has historically, in the future.

“The town centre and high streets must change.”

Image caption

The study will look at business rates and threats to town centres by the internet and out-of-town shopping

He pointed to development of the old Odeon as a church and the former Co-op department store on Carr Street as a school as prime examples of the change needed.

But Ian Fisher, Conservative group leader at the council, questioned the use of £9,000, claiming it could have been better spent engaging with the public for their views.

Ipswich’s Cornhill recently underwent a £3.6m revamp.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here