Major shop unit could trade again

A MAJOR Ipswich town centre retail unit - once occupied by Littlewoods - could soon be let, it emerged today.

A MAJOR Ipswich town centre retail unit - once occupied by Littlewoods - could soon be let, it emerged today.

The firm which manages Tower Ramparts said a deal to fill the former department store could be agreed within a month.

Cushman and Wakefield, the London-based managing company, confirmed they were in negotiations with a mystery business which could replace Littlewoods.

John Prestwich, head of retail asset management at Cushman and Wakefield, said: “We have fairly significant proposals.

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“We hope to be able to make an announcement within a month.”

He said he was unable to reveal in what sector the unnamed firm or firms were trading.

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The unit has been empty since Littlewoods moved out in January 2006. The firm left blaming competition from larger stores.

Littlewoods disappeared as a high street brand from June of that year after the retail arm of the company was sold to Primark's owners.

If the unit were let it would provide a much-needed boost to the Tower Ramparts precinct.

Earlier this year, an Evening Star survey found that 12 out of its 35 units were empty. At the time Cushman and Wakefield said it was not close to letting the empty units, many of which are at the far end of the building.

The stores in Tower Ramparts will soon face increased competition - The Westgate Centre shopping complex could open on the site of the former Civic Centre on Civic Drive in 2009 or 2010.

The Evening Star launched the We're Backing Ipswich campaign after revealing there were 100 empty shop units in the centre of the town.

The campaign is promoting the town's traders and to help revive retail areas which have been neglected.

What shops would you like to see come to Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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