Felixstowe: Joy as developer confirms work will begin on new �7million shopping complex this summer

Work on a �7million shopping complex in the resort is due to begin this summer, creating 100 jobs in the town.

Planning permission has been in place to create retail outlets on the Haven Exchange site, opposite Dock Gate One, for the last 17 years.

Cranford Developments, who are in charge of the site, have now announced their intention to begin building and they have confirmed that spaces have been taken up by four national retailers.

Matt Parry, the company’s planning director, said: “The intention is to crack on and build this summer.

“We are really pleased because it’s one of those sites that has been floating about and has never got off the ground.

“We now have a full tenant line-up, which is a great achievement in a difficult market place.”

The company declined to reveal the identities of the shops due to take up residence in the 45,000sq ft complex, due to contractual reasons, but it is believed Next wanted to take one of the spaces.

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News about the work has delighted business leaders who believe the creation of around jobs is a major boost in what has been a dire year for traders.

Chamber of the town’s chamber of trade, Andrew Rowdon, said: “The community and businesses need to work together but I do think it’s a real boost and I think it’s definitely a turning point for Felixstowe.

“There has been so much doom and gloom because of the downturn but this is really encouraging.

“I think it’s a massive coup.”

Felixstowe’s mayor, Doreen Savage, added: “It’s absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t be more delighted.

“I think it will be absolutely fantastic for the town and I’m really excited.”

The Haven Exchange should be open to shoppers next summer.

? What do you think a new shopping centre will do for business in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk