Funding agreed to restart development of key Ipswich waterfront site
Vital public investment has been agreed to restart the development of the Winerack building on Ipswich waterfront.
Subject to legal documentation, the Homes and Communities Agency is set to invest GBP15 million in the long-delayed town centre project, along with GBP5 million from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Construction is expected to commence later this year.
Ipswich Wharf Developments (IWDL) led by local developers John Howard and Jeremy Scowsill have been advised on the financing by Zenzic Partners.
The Homes and Communities Agency’s GBP15 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 GBP5 million from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through its Growing Places Fund.
Regatta Quay – known locally as the Winerack – has been in a semi-constructed condition since the financial crash of 2008. 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.
The completed project will create 149 residential units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space. It will support 56 new jobs.
New Anglia LEP’s Growing Places Fund provides loan-funding to help kick-start and support development projects across Suffolk and Norfolk. From innovation centres that will help launch new start-ups to transforming empty land into new homes and commercial premises, the fund provides infrastructure loan funding to projects that might otherwise have stalled or not started at all.
Nick Walkley, HCA chief executive, says: “This is a great example of how government-backed investment can get cranes and diggers back on stalled building projects and start creating new homes and jobs. We’re not just investing in a building here, we’re investing in the future of the town and along with our ambitious local partners we’re confident that it will kick-start the regeneration of the hugely important waterfront.”
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, says: “For too long the Winerack has been symbolic for the wrong reasons. Now it can rightly become an icon both of our ambitions for Ipswich and of everything which can be achieved when we work together.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing work start on the building. It will mark one more step forward in the transformation of this part of the town and unlock new investment and development opportunities. I would like to thank all the partners who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
John Howard, managing director of Ipswich Wharf Developments, says: “Both my partner and I are Ipswich born and bred and this has been more than just a business project for us. With the help of the HCA, the LEP, Ipswich Borough Council, Zenzic and our very supportive local MP, Ben Gummer, we are at long last looking forward to completing the conversion of the Winerack into fabulous homes for local people and beyond.”
Nadine Buckland, managing director at Zenzic Ltd, corporate finance advisor to the developer, says: “Together with the HCA and New Anglia LEP, we have crafted a creative capital solution that will allow IWDL to execute its business plan while preserving appropriate structural protections for the majority capital partners. It is a great example of the innovative funding that is being driven by public sector initiatives. We look forward to the delivery of a landmark project for the Ipswich Marina with significant regenerative effects for the area.”