Ipswich: Fledgling firms help Blackfriars recovery

TWO new businesses are helping to breathe life into an area of town that’s getting back on its feet.

Businesses in the Blackfriars area – which covers Fore Street, Eagle Street, Upper Orwell Street and Orwell Place – are still recovering after seven months of crippling roadworks carried out by National Grid last year.

But two new businesses in the area are hopeful that 2013 will be a successful year.

James Tarrant has opened his new business, HUB BMX, in Orwell Place.

He said: “Although I only caught the tail end of the roadworks in the area, it is clear that the works had a profound effect on businesses nearby.

“Thankfully the road is now open, and the local businesses can hopefully begin to recover.

“I am looking forward to the coming months, and to being able to establish my business as the go-to specialist store for BMX products and accessories in the Ipswich area, and to help contribute to the prosperity of the local business community.”

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Business has been going well for tattoo artist Karen Herd in her newly-opened studio in Fore Street.

Miss Herd owns the business and works with tattoo artists Zoe Barrow and Sam Rivers and piercer Preston.

She said: “We brought some customers with us but it’s good that we’re starting to get new people in.

“We’re all very positive about it. We make jewellery and do paintings and mirror frames so we’ve got a whole craft thing going on as well as the tattooing.

“We wanted to do something more creative, it’s more of an art studio.”

Clare Wright, associate director of EWS, which has been helping to bring the new businesses into the area, added: “We are pleased to have some good news to report about the area, especially as a result of all the negative stories about struggling businesses caused by the roadworks.

“Fore Street and Orwell Place form part of a specialist shopping area and it is encouraging that new occupiers are still being attracted to this area.”