Last week I wrote about the deals Ipswich Borough Council’s commercial property investment company has done, writes Ipswich Council Leader, David Ellesmere.
These have helped us to protect existing services and to put additional money into improving services such as homelessness prevention.
If this was the only outcome of the deals, that would still be good news.
But there are also significant wider benefits too.
The new headquarters for Birketts in Princes Street not only ensures that more than 250 well-paid jobs are retained in Ipswich, it means they are retained in the town centre.
Office workers regularly pop out to do some shopping at lunchtime so keeping these jobs in the heart of the town helps to support town centre retailers.
Another purchase is the former Billington’s warehouse on Europa Way.
An offer has been received from a firm which intends to relocate to here. This will bring around 100 completely new jobs to Ipswich.
The same firm is also interested in the possibility of purchasing some adjacent vacant land to build an additional, completely new, warehouse which could double the number of new jobs.
Because the council also owns this land, it would bring in a useful capital receipt as well as an increase in business rates income.
Work is also progressing well on the former Sugar Beet site at Sproughton which the council purchased in late 2014.
The silos, a prominent feature on the Ipswich skyline for decades have now been demolished.
Planning applications have been submitted to Babergh District Counci for the layout and infrastructure of the new enterprise park.
A planning application has also been submitted from the first potential occupier on the park.
Multi-national food supplier LDH La Doria wishes to construct a distribution unit and associated offices which will bring up to 120 jobs to Ipswich, again with the potential for further expansion in the future.
Our commercial property deals are protecting council services from Government cuts and enabling us to enhance others.
They are protecting hundreds of jobs in Ipswich and bringing hundreds more to our town.
They are helping us to grow the economy for the benefit of everyone in Ipswich.