Ipswich's biggest B&M shop is now open
PUBLISHED: 11:17 21 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17 21 September 2019
Ipswich's latest B&M home store threw open its doors for the first time today, taking over the former Homebase at Warren Heath.
The company closed its store across the road at Ransome's Europark - one of four locations in Ipswich - on September 1 and the former Homebase premises at the Sainsbury's site underwent a comprehensive internal and external makeover programme before it opened its doors.
It was confirmed in July that B&M was to take over the site to develop it as its largest store in the town.
The company has now moved across Felixstowe Road into a much larger premises and has almost doubled the number of staff it employs - going up from 43 to 83.
The store also boasts its own garden centre - the first at a B&M in Ipswich - with everything from seeds to pots and hundreds of plant varieties delivered fresh to store throughout the season.
Ipswich deputy mayor Jane Riley opened the store with the help of Maureen Reynel MBE, founder of the Ipswich foodbank FIND.
To recognise FIND as the new shop's adopted charity, the organisation was presented with a cheque for £250.
The charity helps those in the local community who are living in poverty. It offers free food, household items, furniture, nursery equipment and much more to help ease any stress or upset.
As well as helping to open the new store, FIND will also receive £250 worth of B&M vouchers to go towards the charity.
Store manager Tim Pitts said: "The team from FIND Ipswich really stood out for us as they go the extra mile for local people in the community, we wanted to give them some VIP treatment as a thank you for all the hard work they do.
"We hope that our donation can help them to continue the great work they do."
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Homebase opened on the site at the same time as the neighbouring Sainsbury's (which originally owned the DIY company) in 1986 , but closed earlier this year as part of a rescue bid to save the struggling chain.