Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich poised for ‘modernisation’ after being bought for £9.2m

Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich

Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The largest shopping centre in Ipswich is poised for ‘modernisation’ after being bought for £9.2 million.

Real estate investors Capital & Regional announced today it has acquired the Buttermarket shopping centre under a joint venture with developers Drum Property.

The deal sees the freehold of the 230,000 sq ft centre, containing 23 retail units, including Boots, TK Maxx, New Look and Laura Ashley, and a 420 space car park, transfer from its current owners PR Ipswich Ltd.

Hugh Scott-Barrett, CEO, Capital & Regional said: “We have a track record of revitalising in-town shopping centres, through improving the retail and leisure offer, the experience for shoppers and forging strong links with local communities.

“We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to re-position and modernise the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, and look forward to working with our partner Drum Property Group, the local authority and local stakeholders to advance our plans in the coming months and years.”

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director, Drum Property Group said: “Working in partnership with Capital & Regional on the Buttermarket Shopping Centre provides Drum with an exciting opportunity to deliver a superior shopping and recreational experience for the residents of Ipswich.

“Our approach to risk-controlled development and proactive asset management is ideally suited to the Buttermarket project and we look forward to working with all the local stakeholders in delivering a much improved centre they can be proud of.”

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The Buttermarket was designed by the Building Design Partnership, built by Fairclough’s and opened in October, 1992 - see our gallery for images of the Buttermarket under construction.

It suffered from the progressive loss of four anchor stores: Owen Owen, C&A, Allders and T J Hughes, followed by the demise of a number of well-loved retailers, including Athena, Benetton, Covent Garden General Store and the locally-based Andy’s Records.

When it opened, the Buttermarket consisted of 48 units but changes have seen some of these amalgamated into bigger units as demanded by national retailers.

Proposals for changes to the Buttermarket Centre, from prime shopping to leisure facility with restaurants, was proposed and approved in 2012. However reports last month suggested the project had fallen through.

Ipswich’s four shopping centres have seen a steady decline in footfall, quality stores and occupied units, with the vacant units taken over by budget retailers.

Capital and Regional is involved in six UK shopping centres in Blackburn; Luton; Walthamsow; Redditch; Camberley; Maidstone and Wood Green.

Drum Property has helped deliver portfolio of industrial and residential development, including offices for international companies, and retail centres for brands such as Waitrose, Tesco, Boots, and Marks & Spencer.