Could more restaurants open in the Ipswich's Buttermarket centre after the arrival of Wagamama, Byron Burgers, Prezzo, Cosy Club, and Coast to Coast?
PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:48 13 December 2016
Another two restaurants could be created in Ipswich's revamped Buttermarket centre after the success of the first five to open - bringing the total in the building to 10.
Wagamama, Byron Burgers, Coast to Coast, Cosy Club, and Prezzo have proved very successful and have attracted thousands of customers over the last three months.
And there are still two vacant restaurant units – one on the ground floor, one upstairs – and space for a smaller cafe near the first-floor cinema entrance.
Now Ipswich council has had a planning application to create two more restaurant units in part of what is currently proposed to be a leisure-based area, possibly a 10-pin bowling rink.
The move is likely to lead some to ask whether a concentration of 10 restaurants in one place is good for the town centre as a whole.
But Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter said allowing the application would increase the flexibility of the Buttermarket.
He said: “You have to look at the great reaction there has been to the new restaurants that have opened there already and the way the centre is now seen.
“If allowing more restaurants increases the flexibility for the centre that could make it easier to rent out which would be a good thing.”
The opening of the cinema is likely to make the first-floor restaurant units more attractive, especially the smaller cafe unit that will be just beside the entrance to the 12-screen Empire.
The two proposed new restaurants would be carved out of what is currently earmarked for “leisure” use and is already leased to the cinema company.
Empire is officially making the planning application to the borough council for a change of use for the restaurants which would be a similar size to those that have already opened in the centre.
No one from Empire was able to respond to our requests for information about the application – but the company held a recruitment event at the Buttermarket centre at the weekend and had put up promotional posters at the entrance of its new cinema.
Las month a spokeswoman said that its plans were progressing well and it was looking forward to opening its doors.
The planning application has just been formally lodged with Ipswich council and is expected to be discussed by members of its development committee early in the new year.