UPGRADE: Work on Nicholas St is progressing behind the fences of the Ipswich Mall redevelopment.
UPGRADE: Work on Nicholas St is progressing behind the fences of the Ipswich Mall redevelopment. Rob Williams

'Tradie lunches' part of council plan to keep CBD shops open

BUSINESSES in Ipswich's CBD will be encouraged to offer discounts and specials to lure tradespeople working on the $140 million project into their shops.

An idea to create the 'Tradies' Lunch Box' was touted during a community engagement event between Ipswich City Council and stakeholders on June 4.

It was suggested local businesses, "particularly food and beverage operators", create special offers for workers on site.

The "welcome pack" might include discounts, loyalty incentives and delivery to site.

A spokesman for Ipswich City Council said there was an opportunity for business.

"Council intends on connecting the tradies with the local traders through active engagement with the main contractor Hutchinson Builders," he said.

"We are encouraging local traders to come up with tradies lunch specials that are tailored to meet the needs of the contractors working on the site."

It is expected there will be up to 200 tradies working on-site at any given time during the development of Ipswich Central.

"Our economic development and stakeholder relations teams will actively work with the local traders to optimise the situation to its full extent," the council spokesman said.

According to the council's monthly Ipswich Central progress report activity at the site will ramp-up leading into next year.

A majority of the development is expected to be finished in 2020.

Hutchinson Builders have been announced as the preferred tenderer to construct a new council building, library building and civic plaza at the end of Nicholas St.

The $140 million contract will be the biggest in the council's history.

Hutchinson will also upgrade the existing car park, finalise works on Nicholas St and Union Place, and ensure Bremer St traffic ramps are ready to go.

Nicholas St roadworks are expected to be finalised by Easter next year and the city's new library should open by mid-2020.

The council's administration centre is expected to be finished by mid-2021.