Why £20m of public finance to complete the “Wine Rack“?
Mr Howard, and long-time business partner Jeremy Scowsill, are behind Marina Developments (Ipswich) Ltd, which bought Block A of the Regatta Quay complex in June and he is confident it will be completed and turned into luxury flats.
Nicknamed “the wine rack”, the looming concrete skeleton came to symbolise the crippling effects of the Credit Crunch on the town’s economy and a very visual reminder of its years in the doldrums post 2008 after the company behind it collapsed.
But Mr Howard, who lives in Claydon, near Ipswich, and has been involved in development schemes all around the country, says his company’s plans will lift the already impressive Waterfront area further and help kickstart other projects for as yet undeveloped parts of the waterfront.Developer John Howard has bought the ‘wine rack ‘ building on the Ipswich Waterfront.
Marina Developments (Ipswich) Ltd is now renamed Ipswich Wharf Developments Ltd.
Ben Gummer received a political donation of £4,999 – presumably deliberately below the £5000 threshold – from Witnesham Ventures Ltd, a sister company of Ipswich Wharf Developments Ltd. It is a 50/50 partnership between, who else, John Howard and Jeremy Scowsill!
John Howard, Managing Director of Ipswich Wharf Developments said: “Both my partner and I are Ipswich born and bred and this has been more than just a business project for us. With the help of the HCA, the LEP, Ipswich Borough Council, Zenzic and our very supportive local MP, Ben Gummer, we are at long last looking forward to completing the conversion of the Winerack into fabulous homes for local people and beyond.”
Cash for influence?