Norwich Road plans showcased as project moves into consultation
- Credit: KATY SANDALLS
Plans to revitalise the Norwich Road area of Ipswich went on display for the first time yesterday.
A consultation for the project named Destination Norwich Road was held in the Old Co-Op Shop next to Coes.
Business owners and residents were invited to come along and look at the proposals.
Among the ideas being looked at for the project include murals, planters and new signs along the road to promote the area.
The idea behind the project is to change public perception of Norwich Road.
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Colin Kreidewolf, a councillor at Ipswich Borough Council, is one of those who have been involved in the project from the start.
“The point is to improve the public’s impression of Norwich Road and it’s appearance.
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“It’s often seen as a run down area of Ipswich.”
Mr Kreidewolf said it was important for the project to listen to business owners and act on what they want for the area.
This concern was echoed by Phanuel Mutumburi, business and operations director at the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE), who said: “We need to ensure that people have ownership of the ideas.”
Mr Mutumburi said that steps were already being taken to help traders on the street with Suffolk Business School doing free consultancy sessions and staff from the borough council’s economic development team visiting the area.
Mr Mutumburi stressed that hopes were high to see growth similar to that in other areas of the town such as at the waterfront but that it was important to maintain Norwich Road’s diverse culture.
“We have got an authentic vibe,” said Mr Mutumburi.
Another of the project’s backers is William Coe, of Norwich Road stalwart Coes.
Mr Coe said that funding for the project currently stood at around £25 - 30,000 but that work on the road would be carried out in stages.
A new website listing retailers and upcoming events on the street is expected to be live within two to three weeks. Other changes to the street’s appearance are expected to take a few months, making the project a longer term ambition. Those behind the plans believe that if the project is successful in Norwich Road then it may be spread out to other, similar areas of Suffolk.