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Tattoo artists to breathe new life into empty Waterfront building

PUBLISHED: 07:31 13 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:36 13 September 2019

Monumental Ink employees outside the vacant office block they want to transform into a tattoo studio Picture: KERRY KNIGHT / KNIGHT MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS LTD / KBK PHOTOGRAPHY

Monumental Ink employees outside the vacant office block they want to transform into a tattoo studio Picture: KERRY KNIGHT / KNIGHT MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS LTD / KBK PHOTOGRAPHY

KBK Photography

A tattoo studio popular with customers in Colchester could soon bring a new lease of life to an empty building a stone's throw from Ipswich Waterfront.

Founder of Monumental Ink, Aaron Clarke, has set out his vision for the Ipswich Waterfront building Picture: MARCUS HOWLETTFounder of Monumental Ink, Aaron Clarke, has set out his vision for the Ipswich Waterfront building Picture: MARCUS HOWLETT

The founders of Monumental Ink Ltd want to set up a new tattoo parlour in a vacant office building on the corner of Duke Street and Coprolite Street, which leads to Neptune Marina.

It was formerly occupied by the Trebuchet marketing and design agency, but in recent years it has stood empty.

Now Monumental Ink, which currently has a studio in Colchester's Peartree Business Centre, has applied to Ipswich Borough Council to change the use of the former office building.

Founder Aaron Clarke said: "I started Monumental Ink in 2012 as I saw a gap in the market to provide a tattooing that considered the client.

Monumental Ink and its designs were promoted at Ipswich Maritime Festival 2019 Picture: KERRY KNIGHT / KNIGHT MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS/KBK PHOTOGRAPHYMonumental Ink and its designs were promoted at Ipswich Maritime Festival 2019 Picture: KERRY KNIGHT / KNIGHT MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS/KBK PHOTOGRAPHY

"Many studios I used to frequent were intimidating and unhelpful - I saw a opportunity to 'change perceptions' and set new standards for the industry.

"I have had my eyes on Ipswich for a while now, me and my family spend a lot of time there. We absolutely love all the creation going into rejuvenating the area, especially the quay.

He added: "I was particularly taken aback by the art scene that seems to be happening around the marina.

"I believe Suffolk is a place of natural beauty and deeply undersold."

Founder of Monumental Ink, Aaron Clarke Picture: MARCUS HOWLETTFounder of Monumental Ink, Aaron Clarke Picture: MARCUS HOWLETT

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As the team prepares for the opening, which Mr Clarke hinted could be very soon they are looking for artists to join the studio.

They also want to collaborate with the art department at the University of Suffolk.

"My vision for the new studio is for it to be absolutely one of a kind.

"I plan for it to help change perceptions for tattooing and show people how this industry isn't just for criminals and gangsters," he added.

Employees from Monumental Ink were at Ipswich Maritime Festival last month to promote their designs and speak to people about the new tattoo studio.

If approved, it could create at least two new jobs.

It follows a number of similar businesses choosing Ipswich as a location.

Earlier this month, we reported that another Ipswich tattoo studio had been inundated with customers eager to show their support to tackling knife crime following the death of Dean Stansby.

Paul Stansby, co-owner of Lucky 13 Tattoo Studio, was hard at work with his team of five on Monday, September 2, tattooing crosses for £13 in memory of his brother Dean, who was fatally stabbed in Ancaster Road in February 2017.

Council planners aim to process Monumental Ink's change of use application by October 29 at the very latest.

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