Go-ahead likely for jobs boost

IPSWICH borough councillors are expected to give the thumbs up to plans which would bring a £10million boost to the town, and create up to 60 extra jobs.

IPSWICH borough councillors are expected to give the thumbs up to plans which would bring a £10million boost to the town, and create up to 60 extra jobs.

Cinram UK, a multinational business which manufactures and distributes DVDs, wants to construct a new 17,000 sq m building in the town's Central Avenue and create 130 parking spaces, while DIY giant Wickes wants to put up a 5,000sq m building beside it.

Cinram, which already employs 180 people in Ipswich in a 7,000 sq m building to the west of the planning application area, wants to consolidate the site by basing the distribution element of the business there. It is currently carried out elsewhere.

Wickes, which is currently based in a smaller building on the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate on a site lacking public prominence, wants to relocate to the planned new building, and create 221 parking spaces.


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Ipswich Borough Council planners are recommending that the planning and development committee approve the plans, subject to various conditions, when it meets to discuss them on Wednesday .

A report to the committee points out that the Cinram proposal would bring 40 additional full-time jobs, plus 20 seasonal ones, and £10million would be invested in the operation which “should secure this operation within Ipswich”.

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“It is part of a multinational business and to that extent is footloose. The company is a world player in the manufacture/distribution of DVDs and production areas include capital intensive machinery,” the report points out.

“These premises supply a significant proportion of DVDs to the UK. The company wish to consolidate on site by basing the distribution element of the business here, which is currently carried out elsewhere. The eastern half of the site is comprised of vacant employment buildings,” it says.

Planners say there are “strong employment reasons” to support the proposals.

The report points out that the Wickes part of the application is contrary to policy, which reserves the Ransomes site for employment use only, but it points out that Commercial Estates Group, which has submitted the application, argues that Wickes is needed to “enable” the Cinram part, which is “not financially viable in itself”.

“The main point seems to be that a multinational company such as Cinram would simply relocate the Ipswich branch elsewhere where rents are cheaper and/or state grants are available,” planners say.

“These comments are of course made on behalf of Commercial Estates, not Cinram, whose comments on the application are still awaited.”

The construction would be phased so that most of the new Cinram building would be built first. The company would then move in and the rest of the building and the Wickes building would be put up together.

The existing Wickes store would cease trading if the application goes ahead.

A spokesman for Cinram said they were not in a position to make a comment at this stage.

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