Former Ipswich night spot becomes insurance broker’s new home
- Credit: PERTWEE ESTATES
A derelict nightclub which has been transformed into a modern office complex has welcomed its first tenant.
Brothers Mark and Julian Pertwee, of Pertwee Estates, bought the Maltings - a Grade II listed building near Ipswich railway station which went through various incarnations as Hollywood, Kartouche and Zest nightclubs - from Ipswich Borough Council and spent £3.5m refurbishing it.
The 24,000sq ft facelift scheme was completed last year thanks to a £600k loan from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) Growing Places Fund and now insurance underwriter Lonham has decided to set up its headquarters at the site.
MORE - Developers' delight as one-time town eyesore now in running for RICS awardAs well as bringing a prominent building back into use, the LEP hopes The Maltings will act as a catalyst for further investment in the area.
Lonham, which is part of global specialty insurer Chaucer Group and offers cargo and freight liability insurance, has praised the 'high-quality work environment' and location of the building. Other firms are currently in talks with the developers about renting space, with suites varying in size from 1,600sq ft to 24,000sq ft.
Chaucer facilities boss Dawn Herbert said: 'After an extensive search around Ipswich, selecting The Maltings for our new Lonham headquarters was a stress-free decision to make.
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'The build combines the best of the historic and the new - a great building to look at, and a spacious and high-quality work environment inside for staff and clients. There is ample parking, and the central location means that the station and many other useful amenities are within easy walking distance.
'Pertwee Estates were excellent to work with, enabling us to sign the lease and move in with minimum effort.'
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Pertwee Estates managing director Mark Pertwee said the building offered Shoreditch-style office space at a much cheaper rate than London but still within an hour of the capital.
'It is about two minutes from the train station, it's in the prime business district of Princes Street and is an eye-catching and economic building with an unusual interior,' he said.
'It's not just a white box - it's very different. Companies are looking for inspiring new offices to attract their employees; that makes a big difference these days.
Iain Dunnett, senior Growing Places fund co-ordinator for New Anglia LEP, said: 'To have been able to completely restore this historic but disused building is fantastic for Ipswich. The Maltings offers high-quality space which is superbly positioned near the train station and is helping breathe life into this part of the business district.'
'If you look outside of the M25, East Anglia is still much less expensive and we are only an hour from Liverpool Street, so it's great value.'