New life for town centre

STOWMARKET'S shopping district could be set for a shake-up as the town looks to claim a greater share of a market worth up to £116million.A major study into spending in the area has called for Ipswich Street to be modified and a greater range of shops introduced.

STOWMARKET'S shopping district could be set for a shake-up as the town looks to claim a greater share of a market worth up to £116million.

A major study into spending in the area has called for Ipswich Street to be modified and a greater range of shops introduced.

It has identified a "significant leakage in expenditure" to Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds and the need for the town to promote its own "unique and distinct" shops to claw back some business.

One solution suggested is the redevelopment of the former post office and sorting office in Ipswich Street to attract more people to that end of town.


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This would create a possible venue for a "quality" restaurant, bar or café to address the lack of evening leisure facilities. It would also link with the nearby Regal Theatre, which is currently subject to £1.4million of improvements.

An increased range of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes are also aspects of the town that need to be improved. At present, according to the report, there are "too many charity shops and banks".

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The study, commissioned by Mid Suffolk District Council, estimates these improvements could help tap into markets expected to be worth £116.79m by 2012. This is based on predictions of the population living within a ten-minute drive from Stowmarket increasing from 40,000 to 42,000 in the next nine years.

What do you think of Stowmarket town centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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