25 years of the Buttermarket in Ipswich town centre
- Credit: Archant
The Buttermarket Shopping Centre first opened on October 1, 1992 - a modern, glass fronted shopping centre with a green-theme.
Anchor tenants at the time were Owen Owen department store, which operated over two floors, and C&A.
There was the Promenade Food Court which offered diners a choice of Burger King, pizza, baked potatoes or patisserie treats. The food court area seated 350. Over the past two years the centre has changed dramatically. The glass frontage was removed last summer and replaced with an open courtyard area with several big chain restaurants taking up residency.
The upper floors of the four-storey centre have been converted to create a 12-screen cinema complex, due to open this spring.
Here we look back at the centre’s history.
October 1, 1992 – Buttermarket first opens, comprising of 270,000 square feet, four floor levels of shops and costing a total of £64m to build.
June 15, 2000 – C&A closes its store as the company enters administration.
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- 2 Man found dead as police and fire service called to Ipswich home
- 3 'Quietly confident' - Felixstowe Indian restaurant goes alcohol-free
- 4 Man turned up naked on woman's doorstep after Euros Final
- 5 Plans for flats in former Ipswich pub progress
- 6 Mapped: Where parasite dangerous to dogs has been reported in Suffolk
- 7 Severe delays on A14 as lane blocked on Orwell Bridge
- 8 Busy Ipswich road reopens after small sinkhole is repaired
- 9 Car seized as driver tries to avoid parking fees at Stansted Airport
- 10 Why has my car been covered in dust?
February 7, 2005 – Allders department store, which had taken over Owen Owen, announces closure, risking 250 jobs at their store within the Buttermarket.
March 26, 2005 – Allders, closes after 10 years in the Buttermarket as administrators are unable to find a buyer for it.
August 2008 – Promenade food court on the second floor closes.
October 2008 - the Balcony Foodcourt opened with tenants Wimpy, El Taco Loco, Just Spuds and Bean 2 Cup.
September 26, 2012 – Vue Cinemas, is granted permission by Ipswich Borough Council to convert the two storey shopping centre into a cinema.
February 9, 2015 - Vue Cinemas withdraws cinema plans.
March 4, 2015 – Capital and Regional purchase the centre for £9.2m.
March 19, 2015 – Starbucks closes its branch in the Buttermarket.
April 17, 2015 – Capital and Regional announce plans to add a 16 screen cinema and six restaurants.
June 3, 2015 – Capital and Regional’s plans for a 16 screen cinema is approved.
November 5, 2015 – New Look store relocates within the Buttermarket to accommodate new plans.
June 6, 2016 - Empire Cinema, Coast to Coast, Cosy Club and Prezzo, begin their refits in the centre as part of the venue’s £35m revamp.
July 9, 2016 – The glass front of the Buttermarket is removed as renovation begins.
August 3, 2016 – BHS store opposite the Buttermarket closes.