It’s been six months since the last Street Scene. In that time 55 large elephants have appeared on the streets of Ipswich to remain until September, with 84 smaller ones found mainly in herds around the town to raise funds for the St. Elizabeth Hospice.
Shops and businesses disappear all the time in town centres today but there are still new ones arriving. The biggest one in Ipswich in the last six months is probably SuperDry which filled three units in the Buttermarket centre, all of which had been empty since the centre’s redesign was completed about three years ago. This means the shopping section of the centre is full for the time being.
Other new shops and restaurants in town over the last six months include:
New shops, restaurants etc.
Bolognaise Food restaurant, King Street; Hullabalo vegan restaurant, St. Peter’s Street; Lotus Nail Bar, Upper Brook Street; Modify Hair Lounge, St Nicholas Street; Ocean Fish Basket restaurant, Upper Brook Street; The Green Room coffee shop, St. Margaret’s Green; Peninsula Vegan Foods, Lloyds Avenue; The Gym, Cardinal Park; Paddy and Scott’s Head Office moved from Framlingham to their new site at the University of Suffolk on Neptune Quay in Ipswich next to their flagship outlet in UoS. Even the old fruit and vegetable stall at Ipswich market has been rebranded from Coxy’s to Catchy’s.
The Swan public house on King Street which closed last year is soon to reopen under new owners with the name of The Swan and Hedgehog. Honey + Harvey’s restaurants, well known in Woodbridge and Melton, are hoping to open their third coffee/tea restaurant in Ipswich by December, facing Giles Circus in the former Mambos Bar, with entrances on Princes Street and Queen Street. This unit has been empty for some time and this already popular independent brand will be a welcome addition to Ipswich market’s Food Quarter area.
Argos are closing their Carr Street shop in November and relocating to new premises in the Sainsbury’s store in Upper Brook Street which will have a revamp to accommodate them. The London Road Argos, close to the Hadleigh Road Sainsburys, continues to be the main Argos hub in Ipswich.
The former Sun Inn on St. Stephen’s Lane, more recently the Fancy Dress Hut, is expected to become an Art and Tattoo studio.
Just out of town two new branches of The Food Warehouse (part of the Iceland group) have opened at the Euro Retail Park and the Suffolk Retail Park. Both retail parks have been going through extensive refurbishment and Home Bargains have opened their second store in Ipswich at the Suffolk Retail Park leaving both these retail parks full up.
Completed building projects
The St. Peter's Wharf remodelling and upgrade by Stoke Bridge started in January and completed in June with new paving, seating, lighting, trees, litter bins and railings.
The former Paul’s Maltings on Princes Street (Hollywoods night club) known as The Maltings, which had been derelict for some time, has completed a major overhaul and conversion to smart offices with parking.
The conversion of Foundry House on Old Foundry Road (formerly the Dolce Vita nightclub) to apartments is complete and work continues by the same developer on the adjoining former Bar Fontaine facing St. Margarets Plain. Both these buildings were long deserted and derelict before work began and will look smart and loved again.
Current building projects
The Winerack residential towers near completion on Ipswich Waterfront with the scaffolding and tower crane all gone. Construction of The Hold, the new Suffolk Records Office and community hub on the University campus facing Fore Street, continues with completion expected in early 2020. Work is expected to begin soon on the McCarthy & Stone retirement homes on the former Archant Newspapers site in Lower Brook Street. Work continues reconditioning St Vincent House on Franciscan Way. Cladding has been removed from St Francis Tower which awaits a decision on what to replace it with and who pays for it.
The giant £40 million internet distribution warehouse on the former Sproughton beet sugar factory site is nearing completion.
Much more is happening in Ipswich than we can cover here but the next town centre change which many will be concerned about is the removal and replacement of ‘Cornhenge’ on Cornhill. Work to remove the current structure is expected to begin in late September. What will go in its place (if anything) is still a bit vague but we have been led to believe a vastly improved ‘Henge’, with a shiny surface and other modifications, will replace the current structure, to be in place and completed before the Christmas season. We understand other snagging details on Cornhill will also be dealt with at the same time to include extra handrails and a solution to the tapered step.
Tim Leggett [See also page 18]