Work to transform an empty building on Ipswich Waterfront is now under way, with construction work on the Winerack set to begin next month.
Contracts for work on the Winerack building have now been signed and construction is set to begin in January 2018. Utilities work on the site has already begun.
The erection of a tower crane during May 2018 will be the first significant sign of progress and the work is due to be completed by Christmas 2020.
The building has been in a semi-constructed condition since the financial crash of 2008. Funding for the redevelopment was agreed in the spring and after months of legal work, the contract for the work has now been awarded to R G Carter Construction.
The Homes and Communities Agency is investing £15 million in the development of the Winerack building, along with £5 million from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Homes and Communities Agency’s £15 million investment is through its Home Building Fund, which provides government-backed finance to developers of all sizes to help them build more homes and improve places. The investment is supported by a facility of £5 million from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through its Growing Places Fund.
The completed project will create 149 residential units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space. It will support 56 new jobs. It is a key development in the Ipswich Vision project, which brings together local partners to work towards a single vision for the regeneration of Ipswich town centre.
John Howard, of Ipswich Wharf Developments, said: “This has been more than just a business project for me – I’m Ipswich born and bred so I’m pleased to be turning this infamous blot of the town’s skyline into fabulous homes for local people.
“Ipswich has a huge amount to offer and it’s great that all the partners involved– particularly the Homes and Communities Agency and New Anglia LEP – have recognized the importance of investing in this project.”
James Wilson, Director and General Manager of R G Carter Ipswich said: “R G Carter is delighted to be delivering this exciting project and is proud to play a part in the town’s vision for regeneration.”
Nick Walkley, Chief Executive Officer for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said: “The HCA’s £15m investment through the Home Building Fund, working together with the New Anglia LEP, will turn this stalled site into the central part of the Ipswich Vision project to regenerate Ipswich town centre.
“The contract signing is a significant step towards seeing the completion of the project and I look forward to seeing work start on site in 2018.”
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “The transformation of the Winerack marks a big step forward in the redevelopment of this part of the town and it will unlock new investment and development opportunities.”
Nadine Buckland of Zenzic Partners, who have advised the developers on financing for the scheme, said, ‘We were delighted to advise on this landmark project and see the transaction through to completion. The funding structure that has been put together is genuinely innovative and will be transformative for this area of Ipswich.”