I'm probably right in thinking most members of the Society are unsure what the initials EEDA stand for - thus are unable to suggest what the august body does. EEDA is the East of England Development Agency promoting growth, expansion and wise investment in the East of England (remember East Anglia disappeared and was subsumed into the six counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.)
Their total investment in Ipswich to date has been some £45 million, which should promote further development, employment and economic growth. For example, EEDA's total investment into Cranfield's (predominantly when it was still an empty flour mill) has been in excess of £4 million. The result has been substantial further private financial investment totalling £70 million and public contributions to the Dance East development and fit-out.
Less successful has been their contributions to the Harris Bacon factory site. This 18 acre site is a heavily contaminated former meat processing facility which was intended as the Ipswich bus depot. The site is surrounded by railway lines with the only access off the high ground between the two railway bridges in Hadleigh Road. It has proved impossible to arrange access on to the site for buses and other heavy vehicles, and current thinking is for light industrial and office uses. The site is currently for sale.
EEDA have also contributed to the funding of University Campus Suffolk. Bringing a university to the town will have immeasurable benefits to the economy and to the population, and the opportunity for local employers to improve the quality of recruits will bring lasting benefits to their balance books. At the other end of the scale EEDA contributed £27,500 to the Ipswich Waterfront Attraction Study and £20,000 to the Turret Lane (Ipswich Retail Transition Area) Study.
Overall EEDA claim their £45 million investments have encouraged a further £225 million of private funding, a leverage factor close to 500%.