What changes have there been in Ipswich town centre over lockdown?
- Credit: Paul Geater
Ipswich town centre is starting to come to life again as all shops have been able to reopen and pubs and cafes can offer food and drink to customers out of doors.
But what has changed during the winter lockdown? What is new for people returning to the town centre? What has closed for good during the lockdown?
It was confirmed last year that the kitchen store in the Butter Market would be pulling out - the borough council-owned building's rent was too high and the historic building with a number of small rooms is not considered ideal for modern retailing.
To make this area seem even bleaker, the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill store on the opposite side of the road is also closed and is looking for new tenants.
The former department store next to the Ancient House is due to reopen as a new Sports Direct and Flannels store towards the end of the year.
- 1 'I slept at the store' - Teen queues for 14 hours as Tim Hortons opens
- 2 Tragic loss of 'kind and gentle' Aayush at 17 devastated family
- 3 Cyclist left with 'potentially life-changing injuries' after Ipswich crash
- 4 Teenager 'kicked and punched' by man during Ipswich assault
- 5 CCTV appeal after cash stolen from ATM dispensing tray at Ipswich store
- 6 Wallet and cash stolen as two more cars have windows smashed in in Ipswich
- 7 Police warning after Suffolk driver speeds at 126mph
- 8 Man with foot fetish jailed for sexually assaulting women
- 9 Man, 25, threatened to kill ex-partner with wrench, court hears
- 10 Trophy tours and new stores: 23 nostalgic pictures of Ipswich in the 1980s
There has been some internal work during the early months of the year to prepare for its new use - but at present there is no clear activity going on there.
However, fitting out of shops can sometimes happen quickly - and after Sports Direct bought the freehold of the site this work is expected shortly before the store is due to open.
Burger King, Westgate Street:
While Burger King has been opening new restaurants, take-aways, and drive-thrus around the town over the last few years - its new site at Anglia Retail Park opened in March - its town centre site appears to have closed permanently.
The fascia has been torn down and inside the building has been gutted.
Wild Goose Foods:
A new specialist food delicatessen - with an extravagant offer of specialist cheeses - has opened in the Old Sun Inn building behind Sainsbury's in St Stephen's Lane.
Old Post Office:
In truth there has been little actual change to the Old Post Office on the Cornhill during the lockdown - but things seem to be moving on with the plans to turn it into a restaurant.
Although no deal has yet been confirmed with The Botanist to take on the building, the restaurant is advertising for staff.
However, it should be noted that Pret a Manger spent some time advertising for staff in Ipswich before deciding not to go ahead with the conversion of the former Grimwades store on the opposite side of the Cornhill.