Great things happening to Ipswich Town Centre

Picture of By Craig Ranson
By Craig Ranson

Managing Director – Bridge Classic Cars

Tower Ramparts: Work to convert the shopping centre into “Sailmakers” is well under way, costing £4 million. This has prompted existing tenants like Top Shop to commit themselves to the centre while new stores like Pandora jewellery are on the way.

Buttermarket: The first phase of the conversion of the shopping centre into a shopping and leisure centre has started – experts estimate the total value of the project could top £10 million.

St Mary at Quay: Work to convert the historic church into a wellbeing centre is nearing completion, largely thanks to a multi-million pound lottery grant.

Electric House: Its conversion into luxury flats is well under way. The estate agency will remain on the ground floor. The investment is costing about £2.5 million.

Tavern Street: New stores are being fitted out for Tiger, next to HMV, and a discount retailer going into the former River Island unit.

The Walk: The roof is being upgraded and new lighting installed to make the town’s original shopping precinct more attractive to shoppers.

Fison House: Work is now well under way to convert the former headquarters of the pharmaceutical company into a high-specification office development.

Work about to start:

Queen Street/Princes Street: Work to turn this into a pedestrianised area and possible home for Ipswich Market is due to start in the late summer. The first phase should be completed by Christmas, with the second and final phase being completed by Easter next year.

Ipswich Railway Station: The booking hall, news stand and station cafe is being redeveloped and the forecourt is due to be significantly improved. Work is due to start later this year.

Regatta Quay: Work to complete the “Wine Rack” should start before the end of the year.

Crown Street Car Park: Ipswich Council is hoping to start work on building a new multi-storey car park on the site early next year, with the aim that it should be completed by Christmas 2016.

Princes Street: New office blocks on the site of Rileys – which will be the headquarters of law firm Birketts – and in the longer term on the opposite side of the road.

Cornhill: Work to rebuild the Cornhill could start in early 2017, being completed in time for the Christmas lights switch on at the end of that year.

Longer term projects:

Waterfront: The borough has bought the derelict buildings next to Dance East and will be working with the owners of other sites to come up with a suitable development for the “entrance” to the area.

Ipswich Museum: Fundraising efforts to gain money to upgrade the museum and turn it into a major cultural hub are continuing.

Wet Dock Crossing: A government decision on whether to press ahead with full funding for the proposed scheme is due next year. If this is successful the project is likely to be completed within the next five years.

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