Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Buttermarket shopping centre celebrates 25th birthday - we look back at how it has changed

PUBLISHED: 17:16 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 05 October 2017

Newly opened Buttermarket, Ipswich, 1992

Newly opened Buttermarket, Ipswich, 1992

Archant

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre in Ipswich is celebrating 25 years in the town this weekend - although a lot has changed over the decades.

Work gets underway to build the Buttermarket Shopping Centre in 1992. Picture: JANICE POULSONWork gets underway to build the Buttermarket Shopping Centre in 1992. Picture: JANICE POULSON

A big birthday cake is being cut by staff on Saturday to mark the anniversary as the centre hosts a day of free entertainment for all the family.

The centre, which has become a landmark in Ipswich, first opened its doors to the public on October 1, 1992, offering 270,000 sq ft of shopping space over four levels, costing a total of £64 million to build.

The opening of the Buttermarket in October 1992. Picture: ARCHANTThe opening of the Buttermarket in October 1992. Picture: ARCHANT

The main tenants at the time were the Owen Owen department store, which operated over two floors, and C&A, which went into administration in 2000.

The shopping centre included the Promenade Food Court, which could comfortably seat 350 people, which was replaced by the Balcony Foodcourt in 2008.

The centre cost £65 million to build in 1992. Picture: ARCHANTThe centre cost £65 million to build in 1992. Picture: ARCHANT

However, over the past two years the centre has seen a dramatic transformation.

In April 2015 Capital and Regional announced plans to build a new cinema in the centre along with six restaurants.

Boots is the only original store still open from the selection of shops and restaurants that opened initially back in 1992. Picture: ARCHANTBoots is the only original store still open from the selection of shops and restaurants that opened initially back in 1992. Picture: ARCHANT

The glass frontage of the building was removed and replaced with an open courtyard area with several big chain restaurants taking up residency.

The upper floors of the four-storey centre have been converted into the new Empire 14-screen cinema complex, which opened in March this year.

In March 2015, The Buttermarket was bought by Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group for £9.2 million. Picture: ARCHANTIn March 2015, The Buttermarket was bought by Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group for £9.2 million. Picture: ARCHANT

Among Saturday’s birthday entertainment will be mind-reader and magician Michael Gee, stilt walking musicians the Top Bananas and ballroom dancing from the Ipswich School of Dance.

Free fizz will be served on the central rotunda, along with a host of deals and competitions.

When the centre opened in 1992,  Owen Owen and C&A were the anchor stores. However, since then, TK Maxx has taken over the centre role. Picture: ARCHANTWhen the centre opened in 1992, Owen Owen and C&A were the anchor stores. However, since then, TK Maxx has taken over the centre role. Picture: ARCHANT

Centre manager, Andrew Wilcox, said: “We’re thrilled to be celebrating 25 years at the Buttermarket.

“The centre has undergone such a huge transformation over the last couple of years and is looking better than ever.

The buttermarket complex in Ipswich nears completion in 1992. Picture: JANICE POULSONThe buttermarket complex in Ipswich nears completion in 1992. Picture: JANICE POULSON

“We’re very lucky to have such a great line up of stores and restaurants, not to mention Empire, our 14 screen cinema.

“As we move forward into a new chapter at the Buttermarket, our primary focus remains the delivery of a quality experience for our visitors and looking ahead to what the next 25 years may bring.

The Buttermarket shopping centre, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Buttermarket shopping centre, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We hope many of our customers will be with us on Saturday to celebrate.”

Ipswich Town fans will be given a chance to pay their respects to club legend Kevin Beattie as his funeral procession drives past Portman Road on Friday, October 26.

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran is playing four huge concerts in Ipswich’s Chantry Park next year – and over 100,000 die hard fans are due to descend on Suffolk to see him perform.

NHS staff from EU countries account for up to a sixth of the workforce in some of the region’s key hospital roles, figures show.

Scores of Suffolk schools have signed up for a fresh project to boost attainment – but education chiefs have confirmed no extra cash has been pumped into it.

Train services on the mainline through Suffolk and Essex are returning to normal following cancellations and disruption brought by a track safety inspection.

A man from Suffolk died while attempting to climb the tallest mountain in Europe, an inquest heard.

An Ipswich school is opening its doors to boarders shortly after accepting boys for the first time.

A Royal Mail employee is thrilled to have his favourite superhero on his prosthetic leg thanks to an Ipswich garage.

Admirers of a picturesque Suffolk high street vying for the title of Britain’s best are being urged to back a final push for votes.

Police investigating reports of a stabbing in Ipswich have released a man in connection with the incident as enquiries into what happened continue.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24