easyHotel plan for former Groove nightclub in Northgate Street, Ipswich

Groove in Ipswich.

Groove in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

New £4 million ‘super budget’ hotel is planned for Ipswich town centre

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easyHotel, the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of “super budget” branded hotels, has revealed its plans for Ipswich.

It has conditionally acquired 3-5 Northgate Street, a former nightclub, which it intends to convert into an easyHotel.

The purchase of the property is subject to easyHotel obtaining planning consent for the new use, it said.

The news was welcome by the local business community.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said:“This news is great for the town. The rise in the number of hotel rooms is a sure sign that more people are coming to visit the town for longer periods of time.

“Since the Great White Horse closed some years ago, there had been a lack of centrally based hotel space and it’s great to see its return in what is the immediately adjoining building. With so much development going on in the town at the moment, Ipswich has a lot to offer people and giving them further options on places to stay can only be a good thing.”

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A spokesman for the London-based hotel company said the project reflects the group’s strategy to develop hotels in the UK in areas with strong demand for low cost accommodation.

Currently empty, the Grade II listed property is prominently situated in Northgate Street, close to the junction with Tavern Street, the town’s principal retail area.

It is to the rear of the Great White Horse Hotel.

Nos 3-5 Northgate Street dates from the 1930s and has had a variety of uses over the years, including stationers, a toy shop and car showroom before it became a nightclub.

It had various names including Chicago Rock Cafe and Groove while it was a popular a nightclub and restaurant.

Groove closed at the end of 2013 and various alternative uses have been proposed for the building, including conversion into apartments.

The group plans to convert the building into a 94-room easyHotel, which is expected to open in 2017.

The total cost of the purchase and conversion of the building will be approximately £4 million.

Guy Parsons, chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to be investing in the vibrant cultural centre of Ipswich which is a gateway to the UK’s highly popular east coast. We expect to benefit from growing local business and tourism in the area as we extend our owned brand presence in the UK.”

easyHotel has the strategy to target the `super budget’ segment of the hotel industry by marketing “clean, comfortable and safe” hotel rooms for customers.

The easyHotels owned hotels currently provided 390 rooms, and it has a further 18 franchised hotels with 1,490 rooms.

There are owned hotels in London, Glasgow and Croydon with a development pipeline including the Ipswich hotel and others for Liverpool, Manchester and Barcelona.

Franchised hotels are across Europe and include Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Zurich, Edinburgh, Sofia and Dubai.

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