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Law firm Birketts ready to move into new head office in heart of Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 15:09 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:09 09 November 2017

Topping out of the new Birketts building on Princes Street. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Topping out of the new Birketts building on Princes Street. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The new headquarters for Ipswich-based law firm Birketts should be complete by the end of the year – and it should be occupied by the company’s staff by the middle of 2018.

Providence House, the new Birketts headquarters in Princes Street, is nearly complete. Picture: PAUL GEATER Providence House, the new Birketts headquarters in Princes Street, is nearly complete. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The new home for the company, in Princes Street, will be named Providence House to mark the fact that the company started in the front room of Benjamin Birkett’s home in Providence Street in Ipswich back in 1863.

Birketts’ chief executive Jonathan Agar announced the proposed name for the building during a tour of the site, accompanied by Stephen Clark from developers Churchmanor Estates and representatives from Ipswich Borough Council – the new building is owned by Ipswich Borough Assets, the authority’s property investment company.

The shell of the building should be completed by Christmas, a year after construction work started, and it will then take several months to fit out the technology within the offices.

Staff are expected to move in during May next year and by mid summer 275 people should be working there. Eventually it could provide accommodation for 350 employees.

Mr Agar said it was important for the company to have a high-profile office in the heart of the town’s commercial district.

He said: “We are the region’s main law firm based right here in Ipswich town centre and it is important that we have a presence here.

“It is a high-quality building that we hope our clients will like – but it is not too over-the-top.”

Stephen Clark, from Churchmanor estates, said the building was the latest that the company had developed in the town – and it has worked closely with Birketts and the council to ensure it meets the needs of the company and its landlord.

He said: “We have been developing sites here in Ipswich for more than 30 years and Princes Street is now becoming a significant business area for the town.”

With its easy links to the town centre and the railway station – Mr Agar headed straight from the building site to a meeting in London – Princes Street is developing into a business hub.

The former Drum and Monkey pub opposite Birketts is due to be demolished next year, and planning permission has been granted for new offices on that side of the street when demand allows them to be built.

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