Associated British Ports reports surge in visitor numbers at Ipswich Wet Dock

The sailing barge Ardwina at the Ipswich Wet Dock which has seen increased visitor numbers during 20

The sailing barge Ardwina at the Ipswich Wet Dock which has seen increased visitor numbers during 2016. - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

The Port of Ipswich has reported a boom in visitor numbers.

Owner Associated British Ports (ABP) says that more than 15,000 people have have already visited the Wet Dock so far this year, 22% more than the total of 13,893 for the whole of 2015.

The increase has been driven by events including the Ipswich Waterfront Celebration and the Pigs Gone Wild art trail while river trips on the Orwell Lady, the Allen Gardiner and private hire Thames barges have also been proving highly popular.

ABP Short Sea Ports director Andrew Harston said: “Local operators of river trips in Ipswich have provided tourists with a unique view of the area, and the success of the 2016 year to date is testament to their efforts in providing Ipswich with outstanding tourist activities.”

The Wet Dock has become an important visitor and leisure destination in recent years as a result of the regeneration of the Ipswich Waterfront.

ABP has owed the Port of Ipswich since 1997, with the installation of new lock gates in 2000 followed by the development of the Ipswich Haven Marina within the Wet Dock.

Port activity is now focused on facilities further downstream, in which ABP has also invested substantially.