At the heart of Ipswich's economic success is its geographical location. The Suffolk county town is situated at the point the River Orwell joins the estuary leading to the North Sea. So it's not too surprising that its role as a distribution centre has led to the myriad of jobs employing the city's 130,000 residents. The port handles three million tonnes of cargo each year and the goods are distributed around the UK via the rail network or the key transport links of the A12 and A14. The other major port of Felixstowe is a short distance up the coast and London is just an hour away. It's estimated that one in four people in Ipswich are employed in the distribution industry - and many of the others are employed in support industries such as admin, finance and IT.
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Farming has always been a key industry and the landscape that inspired artists such as Constable attracts thousands of tourists each year, not least to the annual Suffolk Agricultural Show.
The area has a growing sector of new technology. This was spearheaded by the world famous BT Research Laboratory which opened there in 1975. Adastral Science Park is now home to dozens of companies including Arqiva, Fujitsu, Ericsson and Cognisys.
Ipswich's workforce need 'down time' and the leisure industry in the town also provides many opportunities for employment. The shopping centres of Buttermarket, Tower Ramparts and Tavern Street's 'Golden Mile'. Theatres, cinema, restaurants, pubs and other service sectors all make tempting job opportunities for either part-time workers or those seeking a career in leisure.