Ipswich Port (AB Ports)
The Port of Ipswich continues to make a significant contribution to the local economy, perhaps in excess of £100 million worth of trade is generated. Some 1,800 jobs rely on the continuing success of the Port.
From Cliff Quay, exports of grain topped half a million tonnes last year and to the importation of cement (140,000 tonnes) and aggregate (300,000 tonnes) can be added the regular shiploads of fertiliser and timber. There is a monthly sailing to Cyprus and three per month to the Caribbean with occasional loads of general cargo, a total of some 3 million tonnes handled each year.
Car Sales 2014
The prediction for car sales in the UK in 2014 is 2.4 million. The last time this many cars were sold was in 2007 (the last year of healthy sales before the recession).
Major Museum development
Our High Street Museum contains several nationally important collections in a fine Victorian building. On site there are other buildings - the former Art School, the High Street Gallery and nearby the Wolsey Studio in St Georges Street. When all these are fully linked and with a striking new entrance in High Street, Ipswich will have a great 'new' cultural attraction for local people and visitors. The application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the first phase of funding has been favourably received so far. As usual, extensive local support needs to be shown. The Ipswich Star did a good front page job (28 May) headed "Exhibit Love for Museum". It seems likely that most Ipswich Society members would be keen to see the project succeed. So keep an eye open for when and how you could show your support. As individuals we could be useful, adding influence to the Society's collective support.
The Victorians who created the Wet Dock couldn't have anticipated that it would eventually cease to be a working dock but remain a uniquely valuable feature of our town. But the growing attraction of the new Waterfront is still seen by some local people as "miles away". Our Society has always supported IBC, Ipswich Central and others who want to encourage any improved linkage between the town centre and the Waterfront. So we approve of the paving of Queen Street and St Nicholas Street which could make walking to the Waterfront more enticing. Similarly the shuttle bus service from Falcon Street (Vodka Revolution) to Dance East on the Waterfront should help. It runs on Saturdays (10 am-6pm) and Sundays when there is a special event on the Waterfront. Although limited at present, it's a good start.
The restoration project for the park is under way. During the year the stable block and orangery will be converted into a visitor centre and exhibition space and a new toilet block built near the children's play area. The £3.5m project is part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The parks of Ipswich constitute one of the town's greatest assets and it is fitting that they should be well maintained.