Ipswich Waterfront could become a major heritage attraction with historic vessels and the chance to find out more about the town's past.

The Ipswich Maritime Trust, which represents and promotes the area's heritage, is hoping to relaunch itself as a major player in the town's cultural life.

It is hoping to attract up to 50,000 people to the Ipswich Maritime Festival 2025 - and to bring in paid staff to promote the Waterfront.

East Anglian Daily Times: Maritime Ipswich Festivals have been very popular.Maritime Ipswich Festivals have been very popular. (Image: Gregg Brown)

Chair Ben Good said it also hopes to create a home for historic and heritage vessels on the dockside once Neptune Marina is fully integrated into the Ipswich Haven Marina.

That could provide a home for a variety of historic vessels ranging from some who took part in the rescues from Dunkirk in 1940 through to the replica of the Sutton Hoo burial ship that is currently being built at Woodbridge.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Maritime Trust wants to do more to promote the Waterfront.Ipswich Maritime Trust wants to do more to promote the Waterfront. (Image: Denise Bradley)

Mr Good said the Trust would be looking to expand its work with a much larger profile and budget - it is hoping to attract support from philanthropists in the hope of being able to appoint a paid chief executive and support worker.

He said: "We are very keen to involve more younger people as well as those who have been with us for the last 40 years - in that way we'll be able to do greater things over the next 40 years!"

The Trust was initially set up to carry on the work of the Maritime Ipswich Festival in 1982 and has worked with other organisations, especially the sailing barge Victor, to promote the historic Waterfront.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Ipswich Maritime Trust has a display window on the Waterfront.The Ipswich Maritime Trust has a display window on the Waterfront. (Image: Newsquest)

It has a window exhibition for a display of its work and it works with other places to promote the Waterfront - but it is seeking to step up its profile.

Mr Good said port owners Associated British Ports would need to be consulted on all their plans - but were supportive of the proposals for the Maritime Festival.

The borough council was also keen on that idea - it has sponsored several festivals following the 1982 event which kick-started the revival of the Waterfront.