The Environment Agency has been given more money by Central Government because the risks of flooding have become very readily apparent. So the prospects for the Ipswich flood barrier have improved. The initial cost of constructing the barrier across the New Cut near Felaw Maltings is said to be £3.5m. Its purpose is to protect low lying areas like Ipswich village from tidal surges.
End of the road?
Cranes have agreed to sell their Nacton Road site for redevelopment. At present 400 people work there, where there used to be over 1000. Cranes do intend to lease it back for a couple of years while they look for other premises, but that may not be in Ipswich. So is this the end of large scale manufacturing in our town? IBC want the site to remain an industrial zone to provide jobs. Ikea has apparently expressed some interest in using the site -- if so, there would be jobs, and there would be traffic!
Eastern Angles theatre company was threatened with a 50% cut in Arts Council grant. Thankfully its value to Ipswich and the many rural places the company visits was finally recognised and much of its funding restored. Not so lucky was the City of London Sinfonia, worthy and loyal providers of Ipswich Civic Concerts, nor Compass Theatre from Sheffield whose (unfashionable?) productions of 'straight plays' have been so impressive at the Wolsey.
It's good to see that many of the telecommunications boxes have been re-painted in a sage green slightly mottled surface which we hope may deter graffiti artists/vandals who regard these fixtures as their territory, and whose 'work' took years to obliterate.
Worth a letter
Ken Nichols' letter in our last issue may have done some good. He complained about the public services which dig up but don't replace paving bricks. His specific target was the lower end of St Stephen's lane. That has now been repaired. Not sure whether it was soon after the latter was published or a coincidence.
Two churches re-born
Wonderful news that St Peter's should open in May as new 250 seater auditorium for concerts and other artistic activities. Thanks are due mostly to the initiative and drive of the Hospital Band. More volunteers would be welcome to greet visitors when the church is open. Contact Beryl Jary (tel 726229).
St Lawrence is also expected to open in the next two months as a valuable community centre in the heart of the town. Amongst its users will be Age Concern who will be able to reinstate their much missed tea room.
We wish both venues every success.