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The Ed effect - how the man from Fram brought 150,000 to Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 August 2019

Ed Sheeran's first night at Chantry Park, Ipswich, where he played a series of massive homecoming concerts. Pictures: ZAKARY WALTERS

Ed Sheeran's first night at Chantry Park, Ipswich, where he played a series of massive homecoming concerts. Pictures: ZAKARY WALTERS

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Hotel and pub owners are celebrating after seeing their businesses boosted by the 'Ed effect'.

The Ed effect - fans queue outside the Ed Sheeran pop up shop in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANTThe Ed effect - fans queue outside the Ed Sheeran pop up shop in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

The Suffolk star brought 150,000 fans to Ipswich over the bank holiday weekend, fans who stayed, shopped, ate and drank in the town.

Alongside the concerts the town centre was also bolstered by the Made in Suffolk Exhibition at Christchurch Mansion, live music on the Cornhill, and the Ed Sheeran pop up shop.

Cathy Shelbourne, owner of the Giraffe House accommodation in Spring Road, said: "I had visitors from France, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Luton, Eastbourne and London.

"None had been to Ipswich before and enjoyed the exhibition at the Mansion as well as taking the opportunity to explore Suffolk using Ipswich as a base. Everyone really enjoyed the concerts and found people very friendly."

A survey published by Ipswich Central found the majority of the businesses in the town centre felt some impact thanks to the Ed Sheeran concerts - they also reported there was a 'notable shift' in the times they were busy.

Dan Lightfoot, landlord of the Greyhound pub, said: "We were extremely busy over the weekend between midday and around 5pm at which point we were much quieter than we would normally expect.
"We had lots of visitors who had never visited us before and were really happy they had chosen to eat with us and then walk to the concerts."

Website All About Ipswich saw a huge spike in the number of visitors, including a 52% increase year on year in website visitors from outside of Ipswich.

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Professor Dave Muller, chairman of Visit Ipswich said: "We now need to build on the high profile given to Ipswich by the concert and to continue to work in partnership to increase visitor numbers over the coming months.
"The Ed Sheeran exhibition is clearly a catalyst for this to happen."

Initially there had been fears that the concerts would bring mass traffic chaos and parking problems to Ipswich but residents have been full of praise for the organisers.

Commenting on the Ipswich Star Facebook page, Anne Page who lives near Chantry Park, said: "As a local resident who had road closures and bus cancellations I was at first really annoyed and thought it would cause major disruption.

"However, I have to say it didn't cause me any inconvenience. The local pub the Earl Kitchener was great and welcomed concert-goers and locals."

"On the Monday I got offered free tickets to go and I had a fantastic night!"

It is hoped the Ed Sheeran, Made in Suffolk exhibition at Christchurch Mansion will continue to boost visitor numbers to Ipwich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIt is hoped the Ed Sheeran, Made in Suffolk exhibition at Christchurch Mansion will continue to boost visitor numbers to Ipwich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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