Famous hotel faces uncertain future

IPSWICH'S most famous hotel is facing an uncertain future today after it emerged an ambitious £4million scheme to revamp it has been ditched.The Great White Horse was bought by developers Citygate Developments last year with the hope of giving it a massive overhaul creating two shop units on the ground floor and refurbishing the hotel rooms.

IPSWICH'S most famous hotel is facing an uncertain future today after it emerged an ambitious £4million scheme to revamp it has been ditched.

The Great White Horse was bought by developers Citygate Developments last year with the hope of giving it a massive overhaul creating two shop units on the ground floor and refurbishing the hotel rooms.

However, despite speaking to more than 20 potential tenants about taking on the units, the idea has been scrapped in favour of creating new plans.

Ian Reid, director at Citygate said his firm is putting the hotel part of the building up for sale and will be applying for new planning permission to create two small retail units while maintaining the existing bar area.

The building is currently closed to the public after the bar's landlord opted not to renew the lease.

Mr Reid said he is disappointed that the plans have changed for the ground floor and is keen to get a new tenant in to get the nightspot back up and running again.

Most Read

He said: “We are hoping that a prominent building like this will attract somebody.

“We are going to go in for new planning permission shortly and we are in talks with one retailer for a small part of the first floor.”

“We wanted the whole of the ground floor for retail but it was going to be difficult to do that so we changed our plans slightly.”

The historic hotel can trace its roots back to 1518, when it was known as The Tavern, and gave its name to the street it fronts.

It has welcomed famous visitors in the past include Lord and Lady Nelson, King Louis XVIII of France, Edward VIII, Charles Dickens and even featured in the author's book The Pickwick Papers.

However the grand past of the building was partly blamed this year by Citygate for hindering them in their search for retail tenants because the building is listed and certain aspects need to be kept as they are.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter