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£10.8 million plan to deliver Ipswich bridges and key town improvements

Two new bridges on Ipswich’s waterfront, and a swathe of projects around the town, look set to benefit from almost £11 million of funding from Suffolk County Council
Published: 13 Mar 2023

Next week, councillors will be asked to reaffirm the county council’s multi million pound commitment to two new bridges, alongside creating a £2 million programme to support regeneration and community improvements across the town.

Two reports are being considered by the county council’s cabinet which outline the council’s proposed financial commitment and support towards:

  • delivering two footbridges and related works on the waterfront; with the overall aim of enhancing connectivity, encouraging walking and cycling and improving the environment;
  • recommendations brought forward from the Ipswich Policy Development Panel (PDP) - a cross-party councillor working group, convened in order to consider the council’s role in ensuring Ipswich meets its aspirations as Suffolk’s county town.

The allocation of the proposed £10.8 million would be split between these projects, as follows:

  • Delivery of Prince Philip Lock pedestrian and cycle bridge at Ipswich Wet Dock project - circa £6 million with an additional £1.31 million secured from the Government’s Town Deal Funding

If approved, the delivery of the Prince Philip Lock bridge would result in the completion of a circular route around Ipswich Wet Dock and help facilitate the broader regeneration of Ipswich Waterfront. It would provide public access onto the Ipswich Island site via a new pedestrian and cycle bridge and would link in with established Public Rights of Way, in particular the link to Helena Way.

  • Commitment of a contribution towards delivering New Cut Bridge - £2.8 million

If approved, the county council would commit a contribution of £2.8 million towards the delivery of the New Cut Bridge, which would provide additional walking and cycling benefits and reduced journey times. However, further external funding would be required to deliver this project.

  • Recommendations from the Ipswich PDP - £2 million

If approved, £2 million is earmarked to support the delivery on a range of recommendations which have come forward from the Ipswich PDP who engaged with a wide range of local partners and stakeholders. These recommendations include boosting employment opportunities for young people, working with partners to develop the town’s arts, culture and leisure offer, improving connectivity via 5G technology, enhancing sustainable travel options and much more. This funding would be allocated to projects to be delivered as appropriate.

Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Ipswich, operational highways and flooding, said:

“We are committed alongside our partners to forge ahead with our plans to regenerate these key locations in Ipswich.

“Our driving force behind these plans have focussed heavily on the council’s key objectives to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, strengthen Suffolk’s economy, protecting and enhancing our environment and ultimately provide value for money for the taxpayer.

“As an Ipswich resident and keen advocate of active travel, I am in full support of these plans and am confident in the long term they will improve accessibility, decrease journey times, reinvigorate the local environment, and ultimately support with our aims of reducing carbon.

“There are countless benefits to be enjoyed by those living, working and visiting Ipswich and we are committed to making these plans a reality. If approved, we will continue to work with our partners across the town to see these projects come to fruition.”