Ipswich’s Winerack project reveals its new façade

Property developments are attracting investment into Suffolk town

The iconic Winerack on Ipswich’s historic waterfront, a £30 million residential and commercial development, has reached a milestone, completing the first collection of apartments (3rd Quarter) and revealing its finished red brick and steel façade for the first time.

A landmark development, it is the result of collaborative working between Homes England, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Ipswich Wharf Developments.

Homes England has supported the development through a £15m Home Building Fund (HBF) development loan in the joint venture with New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Ipswich Wharf Developments. The project will deliver 150 residential homes, over 5000 square feet of commercial space, and a high-tech, car stacker parking system improving the local area.

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain that works for everyone.

“The Winerack Project has received a £5m loan from the Growing Places Fund, and is a fantastic example of how this fund continues to support key infrastructure projects boosting local economies and future growth. With the creation over 5000 square feet of commercial space along the Ipswich waterfront and 56 new jobs to the Regatta Quay area by the end of 2020, the project is on track to support wider regeneration and attract wider investment into the town.”

This project is creating a positive ‘ripple effect’ across Ipswich with more new initiatives and investment coming through than previous years.

Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We’re seeing a renaissance happening in Ipswich, with sites across the town shaping, reviving and connecting places. Through the Ipswich Vision partnership we have prioritised investments and initiatives that will have a positive impact on wider parts of the town benefiting residents, businesses and visitors. Investment in the Winerack on the Waterfront, The Maltings near the train station and Cornhill in the centre, are boosting investor confidence and attracting interest nationally.

“In the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy, a blueprint for economic growth, Ipswich and the surrounding area are named as a priority place for growth and the property investment taking place demonstrates that Ipswich is moving up the value chain. One of the LEP’s roles is facilitating this growth through investment, business support and collaboration, and we’re looking forward to working with investors cementing Ipswich’s position in the UK’s and global property market.”

John Howard, Director of Ipswich Wharf Developments, said: “For many, the prospect of taking on a half-finished development of this size is a non-starter, but for us, we couldn’t wait to get started. Both my partner and I are Ipswich born and bred and this has been more than just a business project for us.

“We have been delighted to work on such an iconic development and investment project to complete this key part of the Ipswich marina vision. We are at long last looking forward to completing the conversion of the Winerack by the end of the year into fabulous homes for local people and beyond.

“We have received tremendous support from Homes England, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, local MPs, the Council and Central Government. Not to mention the superb local craftsmen, Ipswich-based professionals and our wonderful design team. It has taken a huge amount of hard work from so many people, to get this far. Because of them and our plan and determination to rescue this project, the Winerack is what it is today.”

Homes England’s investment in the project, has helped unlock potential for developers to invest in Ipswich. Regeneration of the site will help to provide the homes the town needs, grow its economy and attract higher value employers.

Gordon More, Chief Investment Officer, at Homes England, said: “This project is a great example of Homes England working with partners to create a more resilient and diverse housing market. The £15m loan not only accelerates housing delivery but it also enables early delivery of community facilities, which will maximise the potential of the town.

“At Homes England we’re using our finance, land and expertise to get new homes built in vibrant places like Ipswich. This development is a really important example of how the government is prepared to intervene to unblock stalled developments and help people and businesses to thrive.”

Ipswich Wharf Developments Ltd kickstarted the Winerack development again investing £10 million after it was left in a semi-constructed condition following the financial crash of 2008. Together with £15 million from Homes England’s Home Building Fund and a £5 million loan from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund, a unique financial set-up between public and private investors was created ensuring that the project was revitalised.

The Winerack is a key development which brings together local partners to work together in transforming Ipswich town centre. The overall project is due to complete by 2020.

Current developments in Ipswich:

Winerack – £30 million project creating 150 residential units, over 5000 square feet of commercial space and a high-tech car stacker parking system. The show apartment and its sales office are now open.

The Maltings – £2 million private investment delivering 23,000 square feet of commercial office space in a refurbished historic building in the centre of Ipswich. The Grade II listed building on Princes Street dates back to the 1820s. The site has stood empty and derelict for a decade but with loan funding of £600,000 from the LEP through the Growing Places Fund its redevelopment into a modern, ‘Shoreditch style’ office space is due to complete this spring.

The Hold Heritage Centre – £15 million public investment (mainly National Heritage Lottery Fund) represents a partnership between Suffolk County Council, New Anglia LEP, National Heritage Lottery Fund and other groups. It will create a place for the public to access heritage and records in a desirable location close to the Waterfront and as part of the University of Suffolk campus with its educational links for the Hold.

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