An Ipswich town centre hotel is expected to reopen at the beginning of next year after it was taken over a year ago by the Home Office to shelter asylum seekers. 

Fifty hotels across the country will cease to be used to house asylum seekers and will revert to their original use, including the Novotel on Grey Friars Road in Ipswich, it was announced in October 

The hotel was taken over by the Home Office in October 2022. 

The decision proved to be controversial, with Ipswich Borough Council seeking an injunction after the news broke.   

Ipswich MP, Tom Hunt, has been strongly against the use of the hotel for asylum seekers, and has raised the matter in Parliament on many occasions.

Ipswich Star: MP Tom Hunt, House of CommonsMP Tom Hunt, House of Commons (Image: House of Commons) 

Mr Hunt addressed the chamber in October about the impact on workers "forced to resign" arguing they should be offered their jobs back on better terms.  

He also said: “I hope that very soon the planes will be ready to transport many of those at the Novotel to Rwanda.” 

READ MORE: What happens to the Rwanda Bill now and what challenges remain for Rishi Sunak? 

Martin Simmonds, of Suffolk Refugee Support, confirmed that the asylum seekers had left the hotel.

They have been moved to asylum accommodation elsewhere in the country, some to hotels, some to other accommodations.

Mr Simmonds previously said there had been many shows of support from the community to the asylum seekers located in Novotel - from places of worship and sports clubs to community groups and individuals stepping up with "countless acts of kindness". 

The owners of the Novotel have confirmed that the hotel is currently undergoing maintenance and refresh works. 

It is expected to welcome guests in early 2024.