Malting closes

TODAY marks the end of an era – and the start of a new one – for Ipswich Waterfront.For the first time since the town was founded in the Dark Ages there is no industry underway around the Stoke Bridge area.

TODAY marks the end of an era – and the start of a new one – for Ipswich Waterfront.

For the first time since the town was founded in the Dark Ages there is no industry underway around the Stoke Bridge area.

Paul's Maltings, the last industrial plant in the area, officially closed yesterday – and the buildings are now awaiting redevelopment.

A total of 16 people were employed at the maltings, which together with the neighbouring Cranfield's Mill have dominated the skyline around the docks for generations.

The buildings have now been bought by Essex-based homebuilders Knight Developments which will create a new housing development on the site.

Part of the original maltings building – which dates back to the 1870s – is expected to be retained in the new development.

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But Paul's two huge silos, which date from 1950 and 1963, are expected to come down. They could be replaced by new tower blocks complete with penthouse appartments at the top.

Knight Developments have been in talks with planning officials at Ipswich Council about the shape of the possible new buildings – but there has been no formal planning application yet.

Work on the redevelopment of the site is expected to start during the second half of next year – and Knight Developments is hopeful that this should be completed within 18 months to two years.

Paul's Maltings has been owned by giant Irish-based food group Greencore Ltd, and it has switched malt production to larger and more modern plants elsewhere in the country – including a maltings at Bury St Edmunds.

However the company retains a strong foothold in Ipswich as a key investor in the Ipswich Grain Terminal at Cliff Quay which is used to ship malt in and out of Britain.

Paul's Maltings and its parent company no longer has any connection with animal feed manufacturers BOCM Pauls which has its head office nearby.