On the 24th October 2023 Ipswich Borough Council announced that they are considering a 7.9 million regeneration scheme for Ipswich Town Centre.
The funding will be used to reduce the number of vacant units in the town, diversifying their use and “generating confidence” in the town in a bid to increase footfall and battle the retail decline.
The project will lead to the revival of the town centre, acting as a catalyst to development that will address the underutilised and depilated buildings and deteriorating shop frontages.
The intervention will be a three strand process to firstly offer grants to property owners and developers where planning permission has already been granted but where there is a viability gab stalling delivery, secondary developing existing assets and acquiring and developing news ones and thirdly looking into innovative approaches for the future.
During the executive borough council meeting on the 31st October 2023 the funding was approved.
The first strand of the regeneration scheme has now been launched with market engagement events planned for December 2023.
The launch of strand two will begin in April 2024 with the first projects agreed and into delivery by Autumn 2024.
Strand two possesses two direct elements. Ipswich Borough Council holds a number of properties in the town centre, some of which are let or in use by the council. When an Ipswich Borough Council property is not let or becomes vacant the regeneration funds could be used to develop the property.
Ipswich Town Council could also acquire additional town centre properties which need to be brought back into use through redevelopment. This could be managed by securing planning permission on the properties to sell onto developers, they could secure planning permission, develop and then sell on the property or secure planning permission, redevelop and retain the rental income for the asset.
A further announcement is envisaged early 2024.