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Three projects allocated £1.25m of Towns Fund pot by Ipswich Borough Council executive



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£1.25million of early Towns Fund cash has been agreed for three Ipswich projects.

The new Net Zero Skills Campus and Sustainable Construction Centre at Suffolk New College will get £940,000, while £230,000 has been agreed for the internal works at the Cornhill’s old Post Office that is being transformed into a new restaurant for The Botanist.

In addition, a portion of the funding for the Ipswich Oasis Town Centre Greening project – £80,000 – is being released for “proof of concept” work and early planting of more trees and shrubs around town.

The former Post Office on Ipswich\'s Cornhill, which is undergoing a restoration project. Picture: JASON NOBLE LDRS
The former Post Office on Ipswich\'s Cornhill, which is undergoing a restoration project. Picture: JASON NOBLE LDRS

Ipswich is one of 101 towns and cities receiving government cash to drive economic growth, with Ipswich securing £25million for 11 projects.

The Town Deal Board made the decision for the projects to receive the early cash, with Ipswich Borough Council’s executive on Wednesday night formally agreeing the decision as the accountable body for the money.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “We have not received the majority of the funding from the government yet – that is reliant on them agreeing the business cases for the individual projects we have put in, however in common with most other Town Deals we have received a small proportion of the funding up front without the business cases having to be agreed. We have received £1.25million.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere. Picture: IBC (53777965)
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere. Picture: IBC (53777965)

“This has been discussed at the Town Deal Board and they have recommended how that money should be used. In the main, those are for projects with a smaller amount of money but where the spending has already occurred or about to occur.”

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said: “The Town Deal is really important for our town. I’m pleased to have helped work to secure this £25m pot of government money for projects which will rejuvenate and improve, as well as invest in local skills.

“I’m looking forward to seeing progress on all of these projects once the funds are released. I know the projects are doing business proposals at the moment, I think they’re all at an exciting stage.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt

“I’ve visited Suffolk New College to talk about their Net Zero campus. It’s an innovative project which has a lot of promise.

“I know how much enthusiasm and energy is going in to each of these projects from the task forces, and I think they will be a massive success for Ipswich.”

Planning permission was secured for The Botanist in the summer with work on the internal fit-out beginning in October ahead of an expected completion in February.

Suffolk New College. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE (53777941)
Suffolk New College. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE (53777941)

The Ipswich Oasis project aims to provide more trees and planters across the town and Waterfront to address the lack of flora in those areas.

For Suffolk New College, the cash will be a centre dedicated to new and future technology and support teaching of sustainable construction skills.

It follows recent projects that have included a new Net Zero Skills Campus. and work starting on a new health and social care facility.

Suffolk New College principal, Viv Gillespie. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE
Suffolk New College principal, Viv Gillespie. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE

Viv Gillespie, principal of Suffolk New College, said: “The Net Zero Skills Campus will enable us to equip local people with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

“The college and our partners are delighted with the success of this latest element in a £5m capital transformation in Ipswich, that creates a cutting edge training environment for the construction, digital, health, information technology and science sectors. These projects will enable people of all ages in this region and beyond, get the skills they need to work in these fantastic industries.”