Plans for factory site take shape

THE redevelopment of the 44 acre former Cranes factory site, in Ipswich, which closed two years ago, could soon be on the way.

A planning application for the draft master plan for the 44 acres site, which is zoned for employment purposes, is to be submitted to Ipswich Borough Council next month.

The Cranes Park site has a long term industrial history and, according to the agents, is suitable for a variety of commercial and employment uses, from light industrial and warehousing to offices and trade counter retail.

The site could produce hundreds of new jobs for the local economy as it is developed over the years ahead, and a redevelopment of the site, costing more than �40 million, could get underway as soon as next year.

Chartered surveyor Richard Coke, of Coke Gearing Consulting, said: “It is a big employment site.

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“We have been putting a scheme together on behalf of the owners and have already had some interest despite the economically difficult market.

“This site will offer a major opportunity for employers within Ipswich and the greater Suffolk area offering sites of between half an acre and 30 acres, or purpose-built facilities for sale or lease from 10,000 square feet upwards.”

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The Cranes factory employed many hundreds of people at its peak and when production closed 200 jobs were lost, with some production work going to Hitchin in Hertfordshire and some to China.

Crane Fluids Systems, which makes valves, retains a presence in the town, however, with its new head office located nearby at Crane House on the Ransomes Europark Estate.

Mr Coke is acting on behalf of the new owners of the site, who will initially spend in the region of �2.5m getting the site ready for development.

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