New store to boost town

A MASSIVE new £5 million furniture store is set to create 70 jobs for the town.Glasswells hopes to win planning permission for the 73,000 square foot showroom on Thursday and to open by the end of this year.

A MASSIVE new £5 million furniture store is set to create 70 jobs for the town.

Glasswells hopes to win planning permission for the 73,000 square foot showroom on Thursday and to open by the end of this year.

The family firm has bought a site on Orwell retail park, at the junction of London Road and Ranelagh Road.

When completed the two-floor store will be a similar size to Glasswells' branch in Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmunds and nearly four times the size of its store in Martlesham Heath.


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Glasswells currently operates a Furniture Now outlet store, at Orwell retail park, which will be closed as soon as building work can begin.

The redevelopment is a boost to the Evening Star's We're Backing Ipswich campaign, which seeks to promote the town's retailers.

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Paul Glasswell, managing director of the firm, said: “We have a real commitment to the region. There is a lot of development going on in and around Ipswich at the moment and we see it as an area with a great deal of potential.

“We've had a store at Martlesham since 1995 and it's always done well - now we're ready to take our investment in east Suffolk to a different level.”

The new store will sell dining and upholstered furniture, beds, floor coverings, curtains, linen, lighting, giftware and cookware.

It will also have an in-store designer service, offer contract furnishing for businesses, have a restaurant - Place to Eat - and a Playzone for children, equipped with toys and video lounge

“The plan is for a one-stop furnishing shop for this area,” Mr Glasswell said.

“The new showroom will be much larger and will carry a far wider product range. We plan to offer something very different to other furnishing retailers in the town.

“We want to build a very attractive landmark building with a stunning glass frontage to replace the current 1970s building. We're also planning substantial and sympathetic landscaping.”

The firm, which also has stores in Saffron Walden and Haverhill, was set up by Paul Glasswell's grandfather in Bury St Edmunds more than 60 years ago.

It said its Martlesham Heath store will remain open for the foreseeable future.

Glasswells also has divisions specialising in contract furnishings, furniture removals and storage.

The two other stores on the Orwell Park site will remain unchanged as a result of the Glasswells redevelopment.

The Star launched the Backing Ipswich campaign after a survey revealed there were 100 empty retail units in the town.

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