New hotels welcomed by business

EDUCATION and business chiefs today welcomed news of a massive hotel and retail development at Ipswich Waterfront.Suffolk College hailed the announcement that the St Peter's Port complex could contain as many as three hotels and a restaurant as a major boost for Ipswich's hospitality sector.

EDUCATION and business chiefs today welcomed news of a massive hotel and retail development at Ipswich Waterfront.

Suffolk College hailed the announcement that the St Peter's Port complex could contain as many as three hotels and a restaurant as a major boost for Ipswich's hospitality sector.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce added that the investment could help make Ipswich a leading conference venue.

Christine Dobson, assistant principal responsible for higher education at the college, said the £75million scheme could help the already expanding sector to continue to grow.

And she added that additional resources being injected into higher and further education meant the town was well placed to train a new generation of hospitality industry workers.

She said: "New developments bring with them opportunities and the plans for a new FE (Further Education) College and a University Campus Suffolk does mean that the needs for training and education for the St Peter's Port development can be more readily met.

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"This development, along with others, will enhance the opportunities for graduates from UCS and those completing FE courses."

The St Peter's Port development is planned for land between College Street and Star Lane.

As well as apartments and a shopping centre, developers Braceforce have included a restaurant and three hotels in their plans.

That would take the number of hotels at the Waterfront to five, with more expected as the regeneration of the area continues.

Ms Dobson said: "The hospitality sector is one of the fastest growing sectors and a major employer.

"It is an exciting time for Ipswich and Suffolk as a number of developments, both commercial and educational, come together to enhance the opportunities available and boost the local economy."

With plans for extra conference facilities at Suffolk Showground and the Hotel Elizabeth Copdock Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bob Feltwell said Ipswich would need additional hotel accommodation.

"The Waterfront is growing into a very attractive area. If Ipswich has got conference facilities to match then the corresponding amount of hotel accommodation would be necessary.

"Providing all these developments come on board then it could certainly develop the attractiveness of Ipswich as a conference venue."

Weblink: Suffolk College (www.suffolk.ac.uk); www.suffolkchamber.co.uk

N Do you think a development at St Peter's Port would benefit the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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