December 21 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Confusion still surrounds the expected opening of a new Iceland store in Tower Ramparts in Ipswich.
Officials at the shopping centre handed over the keys of the new Iceland unit to the company at the start of the week, and workers can be seen in the store apparently measuring up for the shopfitting.
The company is due to open in what was the upper ground floor of the old Littlewoods store at the centre
However a spokeswoman for Iceland said she could not confirm when the store would open, or even that the company had taken possession.
And it has emerged that the company has not yet applied for an alcohol licence.
That could prove controversial. Iceland is the only major retailer not to sign up to the voluntary “Reducing the Strength” campaign that was launched in Ipswich two years ago.
That initiative has seen most stores across the town – and all the other major chains – refusing to sell cheap high-strength beer and cider.
Iceland, which has a store on St Matthew’s Street, has not signed up and lists a high-strength cider on its website.
The borough council – which is now the licensing authority – and the police are keen for it to back the “Reducing the Strength” campaign and to join the battle against street drinking in the town.
Ipswich Central, which manages the town centre, is also keen to see Iceland join the scheme.
However because it is a voluntary campaign, it would not be possible to refuse an application for a drinks licence to a business which does not sign up to it.
Despite Iceland not confirming that the store is being prepared to open, it is expected to open its doors to customers during the spring.
Shopfitters are also at work on the unit underneath – that is expected to become the home of a major discount store and is also expected to open in the spring.