Ipswich Unveils Ambitious Plans for a New Aquatics Centre and Masterplan for Portman Road area

Ipswich Unveils Ambitious Plans for a New Aquatics Centre and Masterplan for Portman Road area

Ipswich Borough Council propose a transformative development that promises to rejuvenate the town and support a more connected, vibrant community. Next week, the Executive will consider this newly unveiled masterplan for the area around Portman Road, with the Aquatics Centre at its core, and poised to become a shining example of community-focused development.

In collaboration with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Town Football Club, the project aims to enhance the public realm significantly. The Aquatics Centre is designed to be inclusive, boasting facilities that promote health, wellness, and sporting excellence. Furthermore, the project is committed to eco-friendly principles, targeting an “Excellent” BREEAM rating for its sustainable design.

This initiative represents more than just the creation of new facilities; it symbolises the dawn of a new era for Ipswich; this project ensures that the benefits of a revitalised town centre are shared by all. The enhanced public spaces and green areas are set to become new gathering places, strengthening the fabric of the community.

Councillor Neil MacDonald, Leader, Ipswich Borough Council, says:

“This project is set to become a community jewel, a beacon of how sports, leisure, and communal well-being are valued in Ipswich. Together, we are not just building facilities; we are building hope, opportunity, and a legacy of communal well-being. As we move forward, the focus shifts to attracting forward-thinking investors who share our vision for a healthier, more vibrant Ipswich.

This is a journey towards not only revitalising our town but also championing the spirit of our community. The Council is dedicated to making this vision a reality, ensuring that the benefits of this ambitious project will be enjoyed by both current and future generations of Ipswich residents.

Mark Ashton, Ipswich Town Football Club, CEO, says:

“A significant amount of work has been undertaken at the Portman Road grounds over the last three years, with visible improvements to our home during that time, and we are proud to have an average attendance of nearly 29,000 this season.

The redevelopment of the Cobbold Stand and an increase in capacity has been part of our long-term masterplan for the stadium and, while it must be stressed no work is imminent, we are pleased to have been able to work with Ipswich Borough Council to identify the required land to make this possible.

The proposal for the masterplan and Aquatics Centre will soon be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval, a critical milestone in realising this development; subject to receiving planning consent, it is anticipated that a comprehensive report will be presented to the Executive later in 2024, outlining the subsequent phases to bring the Aquatics Centre to fruition.

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