Media firm reveals regeneration plans

MEDIA group Archant is to draw up plans for regenerating the whole of its current site at Lower Brook Street in Ipswich town centre – including a new home for its Suffolk-based series of titles, including the East Anglian Daily Times.

The site has been occupied by the company since 1966 and the intention is to redevelop the 1.7 acres of land for mixed use and to remain as lead occupier within the development including a new office for its entire staff, currently around 170 people.

Archant is working towards a formal joint venture partnership with Wrenbridge Land, a successful East Anglian property development company.

Brian McCarthy, finance director of Archant, said: “The opportunity to develop the site arose following the transfer of printing of Archant Suffolk’s newspapers to a sister print facility outside Norwich. We are absolutely committed to our presence in central Ipswich, and are delighted to be working with Wrenbridge Land on this project.”

Stuart McCreery, managing director of Archant Suffolk, added: “This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to Ipswich and to develop a purpose-built, energy-efficient building for our staff, customers and visitors.

“We look forward to working with the council, the developers and our staff in designing a state-of-the-art solution to meet all our needs.”

Ben Coles, chief executive of Wrenbridge Land, which is based at Great Shelford, near Cambridge, said: “We are delighted to be working with Archant as development partner on the site.

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“Strategically, this is an important part of Ipswich town centre in need of regeneration and provides a strong opportunity to deliver a sustainable mixed use scheme.

“We will be engaging various parties over the coming months including potential occupiers, to work up a design that not only enhances the area architecturally, but also economically.”

Development planning is expected to take around a year, with the first buildings to be completed in late 2012.

Wrenbridge, founded in 1993, has been involved in a wide range of successful developments across East Anglia, including business parks and individual industrial, office, retail and commercial properties.