Get Ipswich Active bid submitted to Levelling Up Fund

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Artist’s impressions of the proposed Gainsborough Sports, Gymnastics and Athletics Centre. Credit – Ipswich Borough Council

Ipswich Borough Council today submitted a ‘Get Ipswich Active’ bid for Levelling Up funds that would radically improve twosports facilities in the town and the way that residents are supported to be active through a plan that has wide support. A successful bid would bring £18m of government funding into Ipswich enabling a new Gainsborough Sports, Gymnastics and Athletics Centre and the reopening of Broomhall Lido.

If successful, this major transformation would lead to Ipswich having not just the only 50m swimming pool (at Broomhill) but also high-diving pool, 8-court sports hall and 8-lane athletics track in Suffolk. The Gymnastics Centre at Gainsborough will grow and there will be a bigger gym, fitness studios and a café.  Physical activity would significantly increase and new jobs would be created.  

The bid has strong and wide backing from sports clubs, health partners, the University of Suffolk, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership as well as the Council with Tom Hunt MP giving his ‘priority support’ and committing to championing the bid with Ministers.  

Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Sport, says:

“Our bid is poised to deliver a transformation in the way we support Ipswich residents to be active. Our goal in the bid is to “Get Ipswich Active” through much better facilities and bigger activity programmes – this will help us to tackle low levels of activity, high levels of obesity and other health challenges alongside our partners.

“It builds on our long term commitment to the re-opening of the much loved Broomhill Lido by Fusion as well as our ambitions for our own facilities.  

Already this year we’ve adopted a new Sport and Physical Activity Strategy and a Sports Facility Strategy showing how committed we are to making a difference to residents’ health & fitness. This funding would help significantly and I very much hope the bid is successful.”

Tom Hunt MP, says:

I am pleased to see the Get Ipswich Active Levelling Up bid submitted, something I know will have real benefits for the town” 

“Improving access to sport and exercise facilities is something which goes to the heart of the Levelling Up agenda. Not only is it about improving opportunity and access for my constituents, but sport and exercise have a whole range of benefits mentally and physically which are positive for Ipswich.

As one of the most inactive towns in England, I think there is a really strong case for this investment in Ipswich’s facilities. I will be lobbying Ministers and making the case in Westminster for this funding, and giving the bid the best possible chance of success.”  

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