Ipswich Borough Council bids for more police and support for town centre businesses

Published1st September 2022

Ipswich Borough Council has submitted a bid for £1,381,860 from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The main elements of the Council’s bid proposal are:

  • Extra police resources for the town centre. If successful the bid will pay for three extra Police Community Support Officers dedicated to patrolling the town centre during the day.
  • A package of support for town centre retailers in the run up to Christmas with free bus services in Ipswich on the four Sundays and the five Thursday late-night shopping days before Christmas 2022, additional Christmas events and a promotion of Ipswich Central’s Ipswich Gift Card to support local independent retailers.

The Council has worked up its proposals with many local partners – including all the other councils in Suffolk. A number of the projects will be delivered in partnership with other councils – particularly around the provision of Business Support (replacing the Growth Hub that New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has funded in recent years) and on a number of skills related initiatives – focussing on helping young people into work.

In total, 14 different projects have been submitted by the Council to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which the Government has set up – largely to replace EU funding.

Whilst this is not all new money, this is the first time that District and Borough Councils have been responsible for submitting proposals for use of such funds. The Bid was worked up in partnership with many local organisations and has the support of the town’s 2 MPs (Dr Daniel Poulter and Tom Hunt).

Cllr David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, says:

“We know that people are worried about safety in the town centre so the bid for extra money for the police is rightly the centrepiece of our Shared Prosperity Fund bid. But there is much more, with support for town centre retailers, help to start and grow businesses, and improve the skills of young people. I am sure the government will see the benefit of these projects and will agree to our bid”.

Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, says:

"I will be supporting our bid for the UK Shared Prosperity fund however I can in Westminster.

"I am especially pleased to see that there is an emphasis in the bid on Town centre police resources. While we have seen additional resources for Town centre policing in the evening through the Safer Streets Fund, the UK Shared Prosperity fund would increase patrol capacity in the day. This is something I know is important to many of my constituents. Meanwhile, I am continuing to fight for a fairer funding formula for Suffolk policing, as this is something I still strongly feel can be improved.  

"I will be lobbying Ministers and working in Parliament wherever possible for our bid to be successful."

The outcome to the bid should be known in October 2022.

For more information, see the report to the Council’s Executive Meeting available here. Page 79.

Photo credit: Ipswich Borough Council.