New music venue will hit the right note

IPSWICH will soon be rocking and rolling thanks to the opening of the town's first dedicated live music venue.

IPSWICH will soon be rocking and rolling thanks to the opening of the town's first dedicated live music venue.

Located in the once derelict building which formerly housed the Premier Pool Club, Qjam will host dozens of bands when it opens its doors on May 1.

Bosses behind the �40,000 refurbishment hope the venue will strike a chord with students at nearby University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

Richard Robinson, the man overseeing the project, said: “I carried out research in and around Ipswich and what is missing from the town is a dedicated live music venue.

“And with the university so close by, opening one seems to make sense.

“UCS is not going to have any facilities where students can enjoy live music and there are no other bars in that area of the Waterfront so this will be on offer right on their doorstep.

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“Hopefully it will get people in the town more interested in live music.”

The reopening of the venue, which closed as a pool club two-and-a-half years ago, will come as a shot in the arm to the Ipswich pub trade which, like licensed venues elsewhere in the country, has struggled in recent years.

Mr Robinson, 44, has a lease for three years but hopes to remain at the venue until 2014, when the building is due to be demolished and replaced with a new bar, restaurant and accommodation block.

He said: “When the building is rebuilt, the whole of the bottom floor will be a bar and above that will be student flats.

“If we can get the place up and running, hopefully we will still be around to move into the new building.”

The refurbishment has included new carpets, the construction of a DJ box and stage, new wiring and a redecoration.

The current capacity is limited to 250 people but there is potential to double that figure should Qjam drum up sufficient custom.

Is Ipswich lacking in live music venues? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk