Ipswich: Administrator promises action on Mill, months after cladding came down in St Jude’s storm
13:44 23 May 2014
Sarah Lucy brown
Sort out this eyesore!
That’s the call today, nearly seven months after the tallest building in Ipswich – at the centre of the town’s bustling waterfront – was left damaged by the St Jude’s Storm.
Cladding on The Mill was blown off during October’s storm – leading to a flurry of polystyrene-like material floating to the ground.
No one was hurt when the lightweight cladding was blown off, but it left a mess around the Waterfront and in the wet dock itself.
The tower has still not been repaired, but the administrators responsible for the building are in talks with builders to try to get the work under way.
Today, Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said it was vital that the work was carried out as soon as possible – he hoped the cladding would be restored by the maritime festival later in the summer.
He said: “I think it is very important that this is done. It is only cosmetic – but it is vital for the Waterfront as a whole.
“We have seen the impact of the ‘wine rack’ and how that has damaged the image of the area. We don’t want the same to be said of The Mill. I know it is not complete – but at least it looked good until the storm.”
A spokesman for administrators Baker Tilly said: “We hope the repairs are completed as soon as possible. We are speaking to the builders about what needs to be done and how the work should be completed.”
At the time of the damage it was stressed that the cladding is merely cosmetic and the damage caused by the gales would not affect the building’s overall structure.
The 23-storey tower block appeared complete before the storm, but inside it was never fitted out and has not been occupied.
It had been hoped that the work would be completed by the time summer events began at the Waterfront, but Baker Tilly could give no assurance about any fixed timescale for the work.