Delight as Apple prepares to move into town centre

IPSWICH: Civic leaders today welcomed the arrival of one of the world’s premium retailers to the town centre – and claimed the store would help to attract more big high street names.

Iconic technology giant Apple is in the process of fitting out a store in Tavern Street with bosses hoping to open in the autumn.

The store is expected to be a magnet for technology fans and a favourite for the increasing number of students at University Campus Suffolk and Suffolk New College.

Paul Clement from Ipswich Central was ecstatic about the news.

“It is about time that we got someone of this calibre to come into the town centre,” he said.

“Hopefully Apple’s arrival will encourage other premium retailers to look again at Ipswich.

“We are starting to go out to try to attract new people into Ipswich.”

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Richard Atkins, borough councillor with responsibility for economic development, was equally delighted at the news.

“This is wonderful,” he said.

“We have been saying for some time that we need high-quality retailers to move into Ipswich and you cannot get a better name than Apple.

“It should put the town on the retail map.”

Apple is best known for its iconic iPod and iPhone, while the firm has recently released the iPad.

There was a further boost for the town centre today with the unveiling of bold new proposals to transform the former Gatsby’s bar in the Corn Exchange.

Borough leisure spokesman Andrew Cann said the council is hoping to find a tenant to take over the bar and to turn it into a high-class cafe/bar or restaurant.

“One of the windows here was originally a door and we would like to reinstate that to give independent access and we are open to the concept of incorporating the Robert Cross Hall into the unit to make it much larger,” said Mr Cann.

“If the door was out here we could have tables outside on the edge of the new Giles Circus and it could be very attractive as a cafe or bar – we are not talking about turning it into another pub,” he said.

“Ideally we would like to get a major operator like Pizza Express or Pitcher and Piano interested in the site – it has a very good position in the heart of the town.”

n Will these developments be good for Ipswich town centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk