Ipswich has been awarded Heritage Harbour status by the National Working Group of Heritage Harbours.
This initiative brings together community-led organisations to save surviving features of some of the UK’s most historic harbours. The project is supported by National Historic Ships UK, Historic England and Maritime Heritage Trust.
The aim is to maintain a viable ‘home base’ for the UK’s operational heritage boats and ships, safeguarding key features such as working quaysides, historic warehouses and stores, slipways and promoting local skills and enterprise to sustain a lively harbour-side for wider community benefit.
Ipswich joins two other East Anglian ports – Wells next the Sea in Norfolk, and Maldon and Heybridge in Essex – in a confederation of 12 harbours and inland ports in the UK, and a European Network of Heritage Harbours.
“We are thrilled that Ipswich’s importance as a trading port since the seventh century, and the wharves and warehouses that can be seen today along the historic Waterfront, have been acknowledged in this international accolade,” says Ben Good, chair of Ipswich Maritime Trust (IMT).
“The Heritage Harbour award, however, does more than recognise history. It also endorses our plans for the future, being developed in partnership with multiple local stakeholders, such as Associated British Ports (ABP), who own and operate the port, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central, to raise awareness of Ipswich as a major modern port as well as a great destination for its maritime heritage.”
The Maritime Heritage Trust’s representative Henry Cleary will be presenting all England’s heritage harbours – including latest members Ipswich and Bideford in Devon – at the European Maritime Heritage forum in Lisbon, Portugal, on 13th January 2024.
For more information on all the Heritage Harbours, see www.maritimeheritage.org.uk/heritage-harbours/about-heritage-harbours