What changes have there been in Ipswich town centre over lockdown?

Ipswich Cornhill

What changes will you notice in Ipswich town centre after the 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?

Butter Market

Both Lakeland and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill on the opposite side of the Butter Market are closed. - Credit: Paul Geater


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.

Former BHS store

There has been work on the old BHS unit - but little activity at present. - Credit: Paul Geater

BHS site:

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.

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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.

Former Burger King

The former Burger King in Westgate Street - the fast food chain appears to have abandoned Ipswich town centre. - Credit: Paul Geater

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

Wild Goose Foods in the Old Sun Inn. - Credit: Paul Geater

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.

The Old Post Office on Ipswich Cornhill

The Old Post Office in Ipswich could be the new home of the Botanist - Credit: Katy Sandalls

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.

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