Poles to get their own club in Ipswich

A FORMER auction room is set to be transformed into a club and social centre for members of Ipswich's Polish community.The group of Poles settled on the St Margaret's Street location after finding their initial site in Fore Street would be too costly to refurbish.

A FORMER auction room is set to be transformed into a club and social centre for members of Ipswich's Polish community.

The group of Poles settled on the St Margaret's Street location after finding their initial site in Fore Street would be too costly to refurbish.

Now they plan to convert the former Suffolk Auction Rooms premises into a cultural hub which they hope will attract members of other nationalities as well as the pink pound.

If borough council planners approve the Poles' application the building will be converted to include a bar and function room, a separate cafeteria-bar and English language learning rooms.

Andrew Soltysik, from the Polish Association, said: “We want to bring in different ethnic groups and will have cultural activities, bring and buy sales and even the pink pound.”

They hope that 5,000 members in the greater Ipswich area will join the social and cultural centre, which will also provide legal advice, financial and career support and internet access.

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The club has negotiated a reduced rental price for the building with estate agents Goddard and Company and will be allowed to pay their first rent instalment three months after they move into the club.

They plan to sign a nine-year lease with the Ipswich property firm.

Bury St Edmunds brewer Greene King is being lined up to stock the bar.

The club will be open seven nights a week and will shut at 11pm, apart from on Sundays when it will close 30 minutes earlier.

Mr Soltysik and the other people behind the plan have also set up a website for the centre and soon Poles will be able to listen to podcasts about the club and its activities in their native tongue.

Go to www.theipswichpolishclub.co.uk

Is there an old building you would like to see put to better use? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk