Ipswich Vision is a unique partnership involving seven of Ipswich’s major civic leaders who have come together to take responsibility for establishing Ipswich as East Anglia’s Waterfront Town. Across the UK, major civic bodies rarely collaborate in this way. But already it’s proving to be the most effective and productive way of implementing change.
To achieve this, we’ve identified a number of priority areas that must be addressed; setting ambitious dates for completion and we’re working together in innovative ways to make these projects happen.
You can find out who the Ipswich Vision partners are and who represents them on the Ipswich Vision board below.
I’m Suffolk born and bred, and passionate about our county town, where I’ve lived, worked and brought up a family during the past 30 years.
Ipswich has huge potential in so many ways, but has underperformed for too long, leading to a lack of self-confidence and negative perceptions about the town.
It’s time for that to change, and I believe the Ipswich Vision, a unique alliance of seven highly influential partners, is the ideal vehicle to help bring about a renaissance.
The Vision is determined to help create a more successful, more prosperous Ipswich, which in turn will have a hugely beneficial impact on wider Suffolk. For Suffolk to achieve its maximum potential, it needs a strong county town of Ipswich.
I believe Ipswich Vision has the determination, the influence, and the ambition to make a major contribution to creating a more successful, more prosperous Ipswich.
Leader of the Council
Ipswich Borough Council
As Leader of Ipswich Borough Council and vice-chair of the Ipswich Vision board, I’m committed to ensuring the Ipswich Vision delivers on its promise.
Creating and sustaining jobs, boosting business and enhancing Ipswich as a key regional centre are what motivates us.
Having all the major players in Ipswich committed to delivering an agreed list of priorities sends a very powerful message that Ipswich is a great place to do business.
It’s essential that the Borough Council play its part in making this happen. We’re helping to deliver a number of Vision priorities, including the redevelopment of Princes Street, the entrance to the Waterfront, the Cornhill project and the new Crown Street multi-storey car park.
Together, we’ve achieved a lot already. Momentum is building and we’re starting to get noticed, but we can’t let up. There’s still much to do to ensure Ipswich lives up to its full potential. But we’re up for the challenge!
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Greater Ipswich
As the voice of business across the county, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce believes that Ipswich Vision represents a step change in ensuring that the town and its surrounding villages can reach their full and impressive economic potential.
The collaborative approach to joined-up working aligns the efforts of public and private sector organisations. This helps us to streamline decision-making and the delivery of prestige projects aimed at boosting our economic viability and vitality.
Ipswich Vision also allows us to promote the town and its wider area in a coherent and cohesive way in order to influence policy makers in Westminster and Whitehall. By pooling our voices, we’re making a compelling case for further inward investment.
We’re proud to be involved, presenting the views of businesses across all market sectors and all parts of the wider area on a number of important issues affecting our town.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership
Ipswich is already a great place to live, learn and do business. It’s a nationally important centre for financial services, boasts a vibrant and growing tech cluster and a newly established university.
But it can be better yet. And that’s why Ipswich Vision is so important. It provides a focus and gives a voice to our collective ambition for improved infrastructure and a better environment for the town.
New Anglia LEP’s investment in projects like the Upper Orwell Crossings and the Cornhill redevelopment is proof of our commitment to creating the conditions for Ipswich to reach its full potential.
I’m proud of what’s been achieved through the Vision so far and look forward to working with all our partners to bring yet more success to the town.
University of Suffolk
The University of Suffolk is excited to be an active member of Ipswich Vision. The University is a force for positive change and one of our key ambitions is to drive economic growth and improve all aspects of our local community.
Ipswich as the county town has significant strengths and great potential. We’re working with our partners to unlock and develop this.
Several projects, identified as ‘priorities’, have already been completed. For the University this has included the state of the art Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, which has undergone a £5.5m refurbishment resulting in a hub for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and projects to flourish.
Our Graphic Design students have contributed to the work of the Ipswich Vision, designing the logo and visual identity. Their work has created an exciting, dramatic and contemporary identity.
At the University we regularly interact with those from outside the county and international visitors too. We often hear how surprised people are once they visit to see the beauty of the Waterfront, the historic buildings and a vibrant town centre.
As a collective the Ipswich Vision group aren’t complacent; we know there’s still work to be done to realise the full potential of the town. But by working together with the support of the community and local businesses we will achieve this.
MP for Ipswich
As Ipswich’s MP, my first priority has to be a town whose residents are healthy, happy and prosperous. Prosperity is not a zero-sum game – by bringing public and private decision-makers together, Ipswich Vision has given us a united drive for a dynamic civic realm that works for all of us.
Ipswich is growing fast, and is especially attractive to new investors and smaller companies, because we have the space and the people they need. I believe that the transformation of the Waterfront will be complete within the next few years, and will then act as a catalyst to attract people and commerce to the rest of the town.
However, we must not let congestion and pollution damage that transformation. So I will do whatever I can to get Ipswich the infrastructure investment it needs, where it will make the most difference, particularly a new North Ipswich road.
The creation of the Ipswich Vision Board, has helped to attract millions of pounds worth of investment and kick-started a sense of regeneration that has started to deliver tangible results.
Our work has only just started but since 2015, our efforts, combining Public and Private sector organisations, has caught the attention of Investors, developers, established businesses looking to grow within the town and indeed, national government departments.
Ipswich Central, the Business Improvement District (BID) represents over 620 businesses in the very heart of our town centre and is proud that its board’s initiative to create a single ‘vision’ for Ipswich has led to the position we find ourselves in today. Ipswich is confident, ambitious and very much ready to do business.
Cabinet Member for Ipswich
Suffolk County Council
Paul West has lived in Ipswich all of his life. He runs his own business in the town and has been county councillor for Bixley Division since May 2016, having previously served as a borough councillor and county councillor in south west Ipswich between 2004-2013.
Paul has Cabinet responsibility for Ipswich at Suffolk County Council and takes an active matters in all policy areas that affect the town.
He’s particularly keen to help ensure Ipswich has the right infrastructure to enable it to grow and prosper – whether that’s at an Ipswich Vision level, or working with Suffolk Dyslexia Association to secure additional dyslexia friendly resources to some local schools, for example.
Paul is also ambassador for Girlguiding UK and is a member of Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.
Ipswich Vision Coordinator
New Anglia LEP
Cathy’s role as Vision Co-ordinator is to support the Board, working closely with all the Stakeholders to ensure the progress of the Ipswich Vision Project.
Cathy has lived and worked in Ipswich for over 20 years, for the last 10 years as an independent retailer within Ipswich town centre.
She’s a passionate advocate for small business, and believes in promoting high streets and building dynamic town centres.