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Revealed: The five projects set for a portion of £25m Ipswich Town Deal funding, including augmented reality, new All About Ipswich website, revamped River Orwell footbridge and more





Details on five new projects as part of a £25m improvement package for Ipswich have been revealed as the scheme takes its next step forward.

Next Tuesday, Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) will bring before its executive progress on the Ipswich Town Deal.

Originally secured by the council in 2021, it earmarked £25m of Government funding to rejuvenate the town.

Ipswich Town Deal has taken its next steps forward. Picture: IBC
Ipswich Town Deal has taken its next steps forward. Picture: IBC

So far, the funding has contributed to three major projects: the development of the Integrated Care Academy at the University of Suffolk; the Net Zero skills centre at Suffolk New College and the transformation of the former Post office in the Cornhill into the Botanist.

Improvements have also been made to 28 shopping parades, including bins and CCTV, to the tune of £2.8m, while £7.9m was allocated for town centre regeneration.

Ahead of the meeting, Cllr Neil MacDonald, IBC’s leader, has unveiled five more projects which could receive a portion of the funding package.

IBC Leader Cllr Neil MacDonald revealed five new projects set for funding. Picture: IBC
IBC Leader Cllr Neil MacDonald revealed five new projects set for funding. Picture: IBC

Cllr MacDonald will bring the following projects before the panel:

- The first aims to boost biodiversity in the town by creating a trail of green areas between Lloyds Avenue and the waterfront.

- The second will provide seating, spill out areas for businesses and a green space in Lloyds Avenue.

- The third will see the renovation of a currently out-of-use swing bridge at Prince Philip Lock, across the River Orwell, for pedestrians and cyclists only.

- The fourth will be a set of digital projects designed to showcase the town’s heritage and ‘enable connectivity with other places’, including augmented reality trails, which went before the executive at the end of October.

- The final project, led by Ipswich Central Business Improvement District (BID), would see a revamp of the All About Ipswich Website, which Cllr MacDonald estimated could cost £100,000 in October.

Cllr MacDonald said the augmented reality trails will be created using ideas from Ipswich residents, with the next one set to be unveiled on July 20.

The new All About Ipswich website is set to launch later this month and would include information on journey planning, accommodation and activities – including a calendar.

The website, as well as the augmented reality trails, form part of the Digital Town Centre scheme.

This also includes plans for billboards, a technological art installation on the Cornhill and a 3D model of Ipswich, all which will see plans submitted over the summer.

The two Lloyds Avenue projects form part of the Public Realm and Greening scheme and have been allocated about £1.4m.

Cllr MacDonald added: “I’m delighted to see so many of these significant schemes gather momentum, as we make progress along with our many partners to revitalise and reinvigorate the town.

“We are committed to the delivery of our Towns Fund projects, which are set to make a real difference to the people who visit and who call Ipswich home.”

About 10 major schemes in total will receive Town Deal funding.

Regeneration of Paul’s Silo on the waterfront as well as plans for an Academy of Yacht Building, which is currently recommended for cancellation and the £1m for the project reallocated, are two other major projects.

David Ralph, chairman of Ipswich’s Vision and Town Deal board, said the deal ‘unlocked’ millions of pounds worth of investment.

He added: “The Board welcomes the progress that these Towns Fund projects are making in delivering the expected outcomes for Ipswich, revitalising and regenerating the town centre, and achieving the aims set out in the Town Investment Plan.”