Tea room turns over new leaf

A TEA room has today been given an eleventh hour reprieve, after the £1.4million development of Ipswich Town Hall had threatened its future.Age Concern will now temporarily switch its meeting place to the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre.

A TEA room has today been given an eleventh hour reprieve, after the £1.4million development of Ipswich Town Hall had threatened its future.

Age Concern will now temporarily switch its meeting place to the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre.

The move marks the end of an era for the tea room, which had operated from its original town hall base since 1986.

The charity was given just a few days' notice last week of the closure, after worked started on the transformation of the town hall into a customer service centre.


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Jackson Building Services will put in a new lift shaft, disabled platforms, access ramps and a new disabled toilet.

The company will also construct a steel-frame plant room at roof level and install new mechanical and electrical equipment on the ground floor.

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The work, which is due to be complete in January, forced the tea room to relocate.

Temporarily, it will be housed in the restaurant of the Tower Café in the shopping centre.

It will then move to a permanent new home at St Lawrence's Church, in Dial Lane.

Daphne Savage, chief executive of Age Concern in Suffolk, said: "We were using a smaller room in the town hall and were under the impression we could stay there until the new premises in Dial Lane were ready.

"So it was quite a shock to find out the builders need to tear down a wall inside the town hall, forcing the temporary premises to close on Friday .

"Everyone worked so hard to find alternative premises and we are extremely grateful to everyone for that."

Billy Brennan, head of entertainment for Ipswich Borough Council, said: "The council informed Age Concern of the news they would have to relocate as soon as it heard about it.

"We then set about to find suitable accommodation for the café to go to and are pleased it has worked out.

"It has been a lot of hard work and there has been a great deal of support from the business community."

Are you happy with the move? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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