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easyHotel plan for former Groove nightclub in Northgate Street, Ipswich

14:41 15 January 2016

Groove in Ipswich.

Groove in Ipswich.


New £4 million ‘super budget’ hotel is planned for Ipswich town centre

016 easyHotel016 easyHotel

easyHotel, the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of “super budget” branded hotels, has revealed its plans for Ipswich.

It has conditionally acquired 3-5 Northgate Street, a former nightclub, which it intends to convert into an easyHotel.

The purchase of the property is subject to easyHotel obtaining planning consent for the new use, it said.

The news was welcome by the local business community.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said:“This news is great for the town. The rise in the number of hotel rooms is a sure sign that more people are coming to visit the town for longer periods of time.

“Since the Great White Horse closed some years ago, there had been a lack of centrally based hotel space and it’s great to see its return in what is the immediately adjoining building. With so much development going on in the town at the moment, Ipswich has a lot to offer people and giving them further options on places to stay can only be a good thing.”

A spokesman for the London-based hotel company said the project reflects the group’s strategy to develop hotels in the UK in areas with strong demand for low cost accommodation.

Currently empty, the Grade II listed property is prominently situated in Northgate Street, close to the junction with Tavern Street, the town’s principal retail area.

It is to the rear of the Great White Horse Hotel.

Nos 3-5 Northgate Street dates from the 1930s and has had a variety of uses over the years, including stationers, a toy shop and car showroom before it became a nightclub.

It had various names including Chicago Rock Cafe and Groove while it was a popular a nightclub and restaurant.

Groove closed at the end of 2013 and various alternative uses have been proposed for the building, including conversion into apartments.

The group plans to convert the building into a 94-room easyHotel, which is expected to open in 2017.

The total cost of the purchase and conversion of the building will be approximately £4 million.

Guy Parsons, chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to be investing in the vibrant cultural centre of Ipswich which is a gateway to the UK’s highly popular east coast. We expect to benefit from growing local business and tourism in the area as we extend our owned brand presence in the UK.”

easyHotel has the strategy to target the `super budget’ segment of the hotel industry by marketing “clean, comfortable and safe” hotel rooms for customers.

The easyHotels owned hotels currently provided 390 rooms, and it has a further 18 franchised hotels with 1,490 rooms.

There are owned hotels in London, Glasgow and Croydon with a development pipeline including the Ipswich hotel and others for Liverpool, Manchester and Barcelona.

Franchised hotels are across Europe and include Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Zurich, Edinburgh, Sofia and Dubai.


  • As this proposal is just yards from a former and more historical hotel (i.e. the Great White Horse of Pickwick Papers fame) I cannot see why there should be any opposition. I am however a bit troubled by the transparent shower and toilet facilities! How bizarre!

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

  • Brilliant news! Inward investment into our centre from a multinational company who only invest where they think there will be a decent return so a big vote of confidence. The additional 100 plus people staying in our town centre (not the Waterfront!) each night will undoubtedly help existing businesses and encourage new ones to invest. In turn, that will help boost the local night time economy. Win-win, what's not to like?!

    Report this comment

    David C

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

  • Again, censorship, my comment on this was not published. To reword it as a short summary. This hotel has good benefit for picking up custom from The Regent; but I raised concerns over being simply an "adult entertainment" venue (rephrase) for picking up drunk peeps from local pubs and bars and as a location for other vices. Lack of local parking would also be an issue for many - a car park located further away than a local bus stop and bus station isn't very convenient.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

  • First I have never been in groove but do work in town centre at night .and speak to many people so there is a view we need more nightlife .its very sad some just want to pick on other comments come to town at night and see for yourself .or is it most people's view does not matter .

    Report this comment

    Town watch

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

  • I think it's good news. It will brighten up the street and provide much needed food traffic to the businesses around there. I hope it takes off and they start an 'easybus' route through Ipswich. It may not be travelling in style but its so much cheaper than getting the train to London

    Report this comment

    Sentinel Red

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

  • 'Vibrant cultural centre of Ipswich'- lots of foreigners live here. 'Gateway to the popular east coast' - weekenders zoom past Ipswich on the A12 on their way to their Southwold and Aldeburgh holiday homes.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

  • Typical Groove customer comment Town Watch !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Friday, January 15, 2016

  • This is good news for the town centre and hope the plans are passed. Hotel chains often arrange parking via third party parking within the town and doh we do have car parks. Just wished small minded folk of Ipswich woke up and actually live a life.......remember it is too short . Good luck to easyHotel who are resurrecting a watch you obviously enjoyed going there and there is more than enough entertainment in ones eyes in order to attract others to spend there hard earned cash. ties ti

    Report this comment

    Joseph Marshall

    Friday, January 15, 2016

  • Since there is no parking I mean none .its a shame not to use it as a nightclub people need places to go at night .but lazy police don't want to police it .so I suppose this will get granted .this town does not need more hotels .

    Report this comment

    Town watch

    Friday, January 15, 2016

  • Bright orange light!?! Good lord! If that's the only objection, then let's get going! Incidentally, "furniture" as it's known IS a consideration in town planning, so rest assured little person, your complaint is going to be considered.

    Report this comment

    Chris Meggs

    Friday, January 15, 2016

  • Good that something is being considered for the building but one thing that hasn't been mentioned is the branding of these hotels which will more than likely mean that we will be subjected to a bright orange monstrosity in one of the towns most historic streets!

    Report this comment


    Friday, January 15, 2016

  • This is a nice idea. EasyHotels are very reasonably priced and most of the other obvious chain accommodation (i.e. Premier InnTravelodgeNovotel) is nearer the waterfront, with little in the town itself.

    Report this comment

    Captain Z

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

  • A great idea! Since the demise of the White Horse, and the good old Crown & Anchor many years ago, Town center rooms have been nil. Now get some entertainment in that part of Town for the guests! Waterfront, pah!

    Report this comment

    Mike Derruki

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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