Hotel giant coming to town

A national hotel chain is coming to the Waterfront in a much-needed boost to the town's economy, it can be revealed today.

IPSWICH: A national hotel chain is coming to the Waterfront in a much-needed boost to the town's economy, it can be revealed today.

Travelodge is expected to start building at Regatta Quay next year after agreeing a deal with the site's developers.

The move is likely to a have wider impact on the area by attracting more people to the dockside, which continues to see new businesses opening up despite the recession.

A recent study revealed that Travelodge customers spend on average �36 in a town on food, drink and entertainment during an overnight stay. This could amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds in extra revenue per year.

It is also a big coup for the owner's of Regatta Quay, who have been forced to look at new ways of drawing in cash following a slump in the housing market.

A spokesman for City Living Developments said: “The Travelodge is coming to Regatta Quay! We have exchanged contracts and building should start next year.”

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As revealed in yesterday's Evening Star, work on the main block, which will house around 240 flats, is not expected to resume until at least the summer of next year.

However, developers say they are doing all they can to bring business to the site.

Travelodge, which already has hotels in Capel St Mary, Needham Market and Stowmarket, will be the sixth signing for Regatta Quay after Pizza Express, The Waterfront Bar Bistro, a theatre chain and developer City Living's own residential sales office.

A new restaurant, called Quayside, will also be opening next month next to Pizza Express.

The other two blocks of flats - C and D - are also now finished and open for business. The Travelodge will take residence just off Key Street, between these two blocks. That site has also been earmarked for around 30 more apartments and retail units.

The spokesman said: “We are not sitting on our hands. There is pressure from the banks to keep revenue flowing. We are being creative and have got backing from the council to look at change of use.”

He said this may also include converting some flats in the unfinished block into office space.

Are you pleased the Travelodge is coming to Ipswich? Will it be good for the economy? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk