Is Unit 17 being turned into an inflatable park?

Unit 17 in Ipswich is planning a reopening party for Freedom Day

Unit 17 is the subject of a planning application to become an indoor inflatable play park. - Credit: Archant

Indoor inflatable fun could be coming to Ipswich, as planning documents reveal that the new leisure attraction could be set to replace a popular nightclub. 

An application to change the use of the unit at 17 Grafton Way - currently Unit 17 nightclub - into an Inflata Nation play park has been submitted to Ipswich Borough Council. 

Consultations have been sent out to neighbouring businesses in Cardinal Park, with a decision expected at the beginning of May. 

The new business estimates it will bring 35 new part-time jobs to Cardinal Park and would be open seven days a week compared to the nightclub's three nights of opening. 

The inflatable park will boast inflatable climbing walls, assault courses, slides, ball pits and trampolines - and will offer birthday parties, children's fitness classes, family sessions and corporate hospitality. 

Documents submitted with the application state: "There are no leisure attractions comparable to Inflata Nation's inflatable theme parks in Ipswich and the South-East, and it is believed that opening a location in Ipswich at the Cardinal Park location would offer high-quality, innovative leisure experiences for the local population, and would significantly contribute to improving the quality of leisure attractions available in Ipswich." 

Inflata Nation operates eight other sites, including in Birmingham, Manchester and Peterborough. 

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But, if approved, the change of use would mean the closure of Unit 17, which has been popular with Ipswich partygoers since it opened. 

The site has been a nightclub since 1999, when it was first Liquid and then Liquid & Envy. 

After a £650,000 refurbishment in 2015, the Unit 17 branding was adopted and a string of famous faces from soaps and reality TV have made appearances over the years. 

Clubs were one of the last venues to reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown, meaning it's been a difficult few years for managers and owners. 

However, Unit 17 bounced back with a week of reopening celebrations, and introduced a number of anti-spiking measures in response to nationwide concerns over the safety of revellers. 

Both Inflata Nation and Unit 17 have been approached for comment.