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Elmer moves in as new multi-million Fred. Olsen office topped-out

PUBLISHED: 12:36 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 28 October 2019

Penny Edgar, Belinda Mindell, Stuart Ferguson and  Fay McCormack with Fred Olsen's Elmer      Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Penny Edgar, Belinda Mindell, Stuart Ferguson and Fay McCormack with Fred Olsen's Elmer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

One of Ipswich's largest employers has held a topping-out ceremony for its new headquarters - and brought Elmer the Elephant along to help.

Work on the new Fred Olsen building is underway  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNWork on the new Fred Olsen building is underway Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fred.Olsen is expanding its offices on the town's Whitehouse Business Estate to provide more accommodation for its 400 staff and allow it to expand in the future.

The company has three divisions based in Ipswich - administration for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Fred. Olsen Travel, and Fred. Olsen Ltd which works in the renewable energy sector.

Until now the three divisions have been based in different buildings.

Now, they will be brought together in the multi-million pound new headquarters which is due to open in spring/summer next year.

An architect's impression of the new Fred. Olsen office which is due to open next year. Picture: FRED. OLSENAn architect's impression of the new Fred. Olsen office which is due to open next year. Picture: FRED. OLSEN

The building is an extension to some of the companies existing offices, and once the new three-storey building has been opened, staff will move out of their current site to allow it to be updated.

The scheme is being built by contractors who are working with the developers of the Whitehouse Business Estate, Artisan Developments.

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Fred. Olsen chief financial officer Belinda Mindell was joined at the topping-out by Artisan managing director Michael Eyres.

Belinda Mindell and Michael Eyres  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBelinda Mindell and Michael Eyres Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ms Mindell said: "This is a great vote of confidence in Ipswich and our staff here. We knew we needed new offices and after looking at several options, we are delighted to be expanding here."

The expansion would underline the company's long-term commitment to Ipswich and held out the hope of new jobs being created here in the future.

Mr Eyres said that with the construction of the new building the company's development at Whitehouse would now be complete.

"We took on this site in 2006 and the recession hit the following year - but we carried on and have done a lot of work here," he said.

"This will be the final piece and we are delighted to be working with Fred. Olsen on this major project."

Fred. Olsen bought the Elmer it sponsored during this summer's trail in the town centre.

It is expected to take pride of place in its new reception area, creating a permanent reminder of the firm's support for the St Elizabeth Hospice which created the Elmer Trail.

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