Ipswich: Former Co-op supermarket reopens as new funeral office

The new Co-op Funeral Services in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

The new Co-op Funeral Services in Norwich Road, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A Co-op supermarket that closed last month in the face of competition from a new Tesco that opened a few feet away from it has been converted into a new office for the company’s funeral service.

And the office, on Norwich Road, is due to have a chapel of rest dedicated in the near future.

The supermarket closed last month after its trade was hit by the opening of a new Tesco address store in the former Emperor Pub just before Christmas.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Co-op said the office was an addition to its existing funeral service – it would not replace existing offices in the town.

Staff had been transferred to the office from other locations – its opening had not immediately created any new jobs.

The new office is only a short distance away from another funeral directors’ – Hunnabell is based in an office next to the new Tesco Express store.

The conversion of the former pub into a small supermarket had prompted fears that it could threaten the viability of other stores in the local centre in Norwich Road – however the Co-op supermarket is the only building to have seen a change of use.

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The conversion was controversial, but did not require planning permission in itself. However the borough did need to approve an extension which was needed to make it viable as a new supermarket before it was opened by the retail giant in early December after a five-month conversion programme at the site.