Ipswich: Joy over multi-million pound boost for Tower Ramparts

Multi-million pound investment to revamp Ipswich’s Tower Ramparts shopping centre will create a new retail hub at the heart of the town centre, the Evening Star can today reveal.

The tired complex, in Ipswich’s main shopping thoroughfare Tavern Street, has been sold to one of Britain’s largest retail groups.

LaSalle Investment Management owns and manages shopping centres across the country, and is already lining up new retailers to take over units in a revamped centre.

The exact cost of the centre has not been revealed, but it is understood to have run into millions of pounds.

Gavin Ingram at LaSalle said: “Our aspirations are to rejuvenate the shopping centre and continue to build on the existing strong retail offering in Ipswich.

“We expect Tower Ramparts to become the northern axis point for Ipswich town centre and we are already in talks with various national retailers regarding the potential for the scheme.”

A company statement said the centre had been neglected over recent years and had not benefited from any internal investment; hence it appears tired and is in need of revitalisation.

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Over recent months a number of retailers in the centre have pulled out, including Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, and Wallis. It is understood that LaSalle aims to remodel these units for new tenants.

Tower Ramparts manager Mike Sorhaindo described the deal as “the best birthday present possible,” for the centre that opened 25 years ago.

He added: “The new owners have said they are already talking to new retailers about coming to the centre and I am sure this is the start of a very exciting time for us.”

Paul Clement of Ipswich Central added: “I have never hidden the fact that Ipswich’s retail offer needs to be improved but, in order to achieve this, a ‘game-changing’ transaction needed to be brought forward.

“I am delighted that this work has already led to new investment, and now that this transaction has been completed we will be working very closely with LaSalle to help deliver our joint plans.”

Borough leader David Ellesmere was delighted by the purchase. He said: “This multi-million pound commitment is a welcome vote of confidence in Ipswich. Investment in our town centre is vital to securing a vibrant and thriving retail sector. We look forward to working with LaSalle to maximise the potential of Tower Ramparts.”

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