Walton's and Civic Centre coat of arms
Walton's shop was in St. Matthew's Street, numbers 42-44 and is listed for the first time in the 1932 Ipswich street directory, and was still listed in the 1975 one (which was the last one published). It must have disappeared soon after that, for the changes at the west of Berners Street.
Something else that has disappeared is the mosaic coat of arms that was on the west-facing side (?) of the Civic Centre. It might have been on the side over the upper entrance. Does anyone remember it? It certainly was taken down much earlier than the mural in the lower entrance. I queried what had happened to it while I was a member of the Conservation Panel, but really can't pin-point the year. It was supposedly going to be repaired but was never replaced on the building. (From Ruth Serjeant)
UK Supermarkets will add four million square feet of new retail space during 2015. 29% will be traditional (i.e. large) stores, 54% smaller stores (Aldi, Lidl etc. between 3,000 and 15,000 square feet) and 17% convenience stores (Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local - less than 3,000 square feet - and these avoid restricted opening hours on a Sunday).
However, the demise of larger stores means that Pension Funds will take a hit (86% of large supermarkets are rented from property companies). It is reported that the value of a typical out-of-town superstore dropped by 25% last year.
In terms of growth, Aldi are adding one million square feet to their portfolio (about 60 new stores), M&S Simply Food: 600,000 square feet, ASDA: 550,000 square feet and Lidl are adding 350,000 square feet. Tesco are scrapping plans to open 49 new stores. The market place is changing.
The Future of Ipswich
Ipswich Central's ambitious vision for enhancing the town centre was the subject of Terry Baxter's excellent contribution to our AGM. Since then, SCC's agreement to match IBC's funding for a re-constructed Cornhill is a welcome sign of collaboration. While the creation of new levels on the Cornhill is controversial, there are many other striking ideas, e.g. opening up the east side of Upper Brook Street enabling big new premises to be built to attract important new shops; development of a 'Link Quarter' between the Old Cattle Market and Star Lane; 2000 new homes in or near the centre of town.
The Tower Ramparts re-vamp has begun - a welcome investment by the owners, even if the new name, Sailmakers, is not welcomed by everybody! We hope the lift will be prominent because it is vital for a shopping centre with (unusually) two equally important levels. The Buttermarket Centre - 16 cinemas, 6 restaurants, etc. - has planning permission. Several shop units, some prominent ones at the front, are currently empty but are awaiting the arrival of shops from elsewhere within the centre. New Look, Laura Ashley. Boots and Holland & Barrett are to remain in their current locations and TK Maxx will occupy the ground floor of the department store.