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Ipswich: Double boost for town centre as Christmas approaches

PUBLISHED: 10:34 14 November 2012

Workers are readying the new Lush store on Tavern Street.

Workers are readying the new Lush store on Tavern Street.

Archant

With the busiest month of the year just around the corner, the town centre has received a double dose of good news.

A survey of businesses in the town centre has shown that the proportion of empty retail units has slightly fallen over the last year.

And one of the best-known names on the high streets of Britain is due to open a store in the heart of Ipswich at the end of next week.

Cosmetics retailer Lush is fitting out the former Orange store in Tavern Street and is due to open in the town on Friday week, November 23. Ipswich Central had been trying to attract Lush to the town for some time.

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said: “We have assisted Lush with their search for a suitable Ipswich location over a period of years and we’re delighted that they have finally found a prime position.

“Having a national high end retailer invest in the town is extremely positive for Ipswich and we look forward to welcoming more over the coming months.”

A survey by the Business Improvement District (BID) company Ipswich Central last year showed that 87 per cent of the retail units in the town centre were occupied.

It repeated the survey at the beginning of this month and found that 88pc were occupied.

Mr Clement said that by retailers, the survey meant banks, cafes, and restaurants as well as shops.

He said: “The survey is very good news. It is only a small percentage increase, but it is going in the right direction – it shows that the town centre is attracting more investment.”

Ipswich councillor with responsibility for economic development Carole Jones said the news showed the town was on the up.

She said: “As a town we are bucking the trend and are able to attract new business. Having only 12pc empty units is much better than many other places.

“The arrival of Lush is great news – they attract a wide range of customers of all ages. They’re a retailer that will really bring people in to the town.”

Ipswich is set for another boost next year with the conversion of part of the Buttermarket Centre into a Vue cinema and the move of the TK Maxx store within the centre – meaning it should be fully occupied.

n Is Ipswich shopping centre improving? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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6 comments

  • This is excellent news. Well done to all involved.

    Report this comment

    Erm, Why?

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Great news. One more high end retailer and one less mobile phone shop. Result!

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Excellent. A Lush store is a seal of approval on any town centre.

    Report this comment

    Simon K

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • I'm happy to see less empty shops, but I'll have to wear a peg on my nose when walking through town, as the smell from Lush stores is usually so overbearing!! Maybe the council will let the burger sellers etc start frying onions again to cover it up!

    Report this comment

    bob a job

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Never heard of it.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • While its good to have less empty units, we shouldnt get too exited. Lush is hardly high end. They sell soap and little else.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Friday, November 16, 2012

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

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