We have the opportunity to establish Ipswich as a regional centre for shopping and culture. An improved retail offer – with a strong range of national retailers and multiple, small-scale independent retailers – encourages more visitors and longer visits, making Ipswich a more attractive place to live and work, and gives businesses and developers more confidence to invest.
“Research tells us that if every visitor stayed for an hour longer then the town economy would be boosted by £26m a year. That’s a big prize.”
A strong retail offer sparks a virtuous circle. An attractive retail offering generates inward investment (such as the new primary school and flats planned for Carr Street’s old Co-op store). Such investment in turn improves visitors’ shopping experiences, increasing visitor numbers, dwell time and expenditure. Subsequently, the town’s retail rankings compared to other urban areas improves, attracting further inward investment.
So a new town centre strategy review could include ideas such as re-shaping the town centre retail offering so that it links to the Waterfront; actively promoting new developments that provide a range of unit sizes creating greater variety; create new street networks that are convenient and attractive for all pedestrians; as well as include a strategy for finding new occupiers of existing available units.
Other associated issues will need to be considered too, such as installing advanced information systems that help the public move around more sustainably, creating the best value parking of any town centre in the region, extending pedestrianisation, enhancing the look and feel of public spaces throughout the town centre to improve the street scene, and more.
This new vision will develop evidence to support further decision-making that will build on more recent, encouraging developments. These include the £5m refurbishment of Sailmakers, plus the £35m investment in the Buttermarket mall that supports Ipswich Vision’s intention to diversify the town centre with enticing leisure options, creating a more rounded visitor experience.
Contact the Ipswich Vision Coordinator
Maximising the Cornhill's potential as Ipswich town centre's principal public space
Establishing a major commercial hub for the town and a magnet for employment growth