Selected shopping parades across Ipswich are now eligible for a grant of up to £250,000, thanks to £2.81m in Town Deal funding. This funding, provided as part of HM Government’s investment plan to level up regions, provides an opportunity for economic growth across the country.
Ipswich Borough Council and partners were successful in securing £25m of funding, and of that, £2.81 million is available to invest in improvements to the shopping parades across the Borough.
13 shopping parades (listed below) have been identified for a first round of funding that should help revamp their appearance, provide better facilities, increase footfall and raise sales revenues. Independent retail owners are being asked to come forward with their ideas for improvements. In total, it is anticipated that at least £1.5 million will be allocated across these parades in the first round of funding.
Applicants will also need to show support from other retailers on the parade and their local councillors. The closing date for the submission of ideas is 19 February 2023. It is anticipated that successful schemes will get the go ahead – after a round of public consultation – for works to start in summer 2023.
A further round of funding (around £1m) will then be available later in 2023 and open to other shopping parades (not listed below). Some funding (around £260k) will also be available later in 2023 to support community facilities across the town – rather than ‘just’ shops in parades.
Further details about which shopping parades are eligible and how applications can be made are available at www.ipswich.gov.uk/TownsFund/ShoppingParades or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07775 339164. Council Officers will be visiting all the parades over the next week to explain the project and application process.
Work on this project is being led by a Task Force reporting to the Ipswich Town Deal Board. Ipswich Borough Council will make decisions on where the monies is spent, having taken advice from both the Board and Task Force. The Task Force’s independent chair is Azzouz El-Mahraoui (co-owner of Coffee Link).
Azzouz El-Mahraoui, (co-owner of Coffee Link) and Chair of the Local Shopping Parades Task Force, says: “Improving the local shopping parades in Ipswich is a great and also welcome step towards improving the town, especially in the current economic environment. I believe that local businesses in the relevant areas will take advantage of this opportunity and create better community and shopping hubs. The task force has considered all areas and I hope the process is successful.”
Dr Dan Poulter, Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, adds: “I have been working hard to deliver £25 million of Government funding for Ipswich. I have personally been championing the local shopping parades project which has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of people – and I am delighted that nearly £3 million of this money will help to deliver improvements to local shopping parades, like Garrick Way, Meredith Road or Ulster Avenue in North West Ipswich.”
Tom Hunt, Member of Parliament for Ipswich, says: “I’m really pleased that the shopping parades project is now becoming a reality. Out of the 11 Town Deal projects secured, this is arguably the one where I’ve detected the strongest support and enthusiasm from my constituents. Our shopping parades are often at the centre of our communities. Often the people who run these businesses are at the beating heart of their communities. Now is the time to put those ideas forward and ensure this scheme is as transformative as it can be.”
Councillor Paul West, Cabinet Member for Ipswich at Suffolk County Council, adds: “The funding is a great news at a difficult economic time. I am looking forward to working with local businesses owners to help make improvements that bring more customers to local shopping parades.”
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Deputy Leader at Ipswich Borough Council, says: "We very much look forward to hearing from local businesses and seeing their ideas on how to improve our shopping centres. This is a great opportunity for them to shape the future of our community assets."
The 13 Ipswich shopping parades eligible to bid for some of the first round of funding are: