Hotel's £2million sale plea

AN IPSWICH property developer today called on town chiefs to help safeguard the future of the historic Great White Horse hotel.

AN IPSWICH property developer today called on town chiefs to help safeguard the future of the historic Great White Horse hotel.

Ian Reid, Citygate Developments director, asked Ipswich Borough Council to be sympathetic to whoever takes on the freehold for the Grade II listed building, which went on sale for £2million this week.

He said: “It's such an individual building with such a lot of character. It's part of the town's heritage but it badly needs investment.

“Planners can make life difficult - or not. They can help secure the long-term future of the building.”

Citygate, of Norwich, bought the brick-built Great White Horse a year ago with the hope of giving it a massive overhaul creating two shop units on the ground floor and refurbishing the hotel rooms.

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

Most Read

The property has 56 letting bedrooms, a bar and function areas.

It has a corner location fronting Tavern Street and the rear hotel reception is situated off Northgate Street.

Agent Tim Gooding of Christie & Co, in Ipswich, said: “The hotel is one of the best known properties in the town centre and, given its location, we believe there will be strong interest from developers and potential operators alike.”

Although £2m is being sought for the freehold interest of the Great White Horse, the vendors would also consider leasehold offers and other proposals from interested parties, Mr Gooding added.

Famous former customers of the hotel include Charles Dickens, who subsequently wrote about it in Pickwick Papers, Lord Nelson and Lord and Lady Hamilton and, more recently, Edward VIII after his abdication.

French King Louis XVIII also stopped off for refreshments at the hotel on his way to Norwich.

Many performers at the Ipswich town centre theatres have also stayed at the hotel, including Noddy Holder and Slade.

N How would you like to see the building developed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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