Ipswich: New beginning for famous former ice cream factory once used as street drinkers’ den

IT is known to generations as the home of Peters Ice Cream.

But today, the former factory is in the hands of new owners – and looking forward to a brighter future.

The famous building housed Peters Ice Cream for decades but, in more recent years, became a haven for street drinkers, who were given permission by the authorities to use the dilapidated structure as a booze haven.

However, the 0.39 acre site – 52-58 Grimwade Street – is in line for redevelopment after it was sold at auction for �271,000, well above the �150,000 guide price.

The attraction is obvious – the building is close to Suffolk New College and not far from Ipswich’s historic Waterfront.

A buyer, who asked to remain anonymous, snapped up the site during a tense auction, hosted by Goldings Auctions, at Wherstead Park yesterday.

The winning bidder said: “This is the first thing we have bought and we are looking to invest in it and bring it back to use.”

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The bidder revealed that it will cost about �70,000 to return the building, which contains a retail unit, factory and upstairs area, to its former glory.

The future use of the plot has yet to be decided but it is thought the new owners will look to create a flat and will rent out the units, possibly to be used as a cafe.

The bidder also revealed that they would not rule out the possibility of an ice cream company using the site.

“We’re just looking to do the building up and then we will have an idea of what is on offer and we will aim to do business. You have the history of Peters Ice Cream. It would be nice (for an ice cream company to use the site) but it’s not a good time in this economic climate.

“We have got no objection and if someone wants to use it for ice cream then why not?”

Peters Ice Cream was founded in 1897 by Maria and Napoleone Zagni in the kitchen of a house in Rope Walk. The company is still operating, but now based elsewhere.

n What would you like to see at the site? Tell us your thoughts by writing to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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