The Range to create 80 new jobs with store at Bury Road in Ipswich

The Range at Suffolk Retail Park - a new store is to open at Bury Road

The Range at Suffolk Retail Park - a new store is to open at Bury Road - Credit: Staff

Discount superstore The Range is to open a new Ipswich store at the Anglia Retail Park on Bury Road from June 2 – creating 80 extra jobs.

Anglia Retail Park. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Anglia Retail Park. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

It currently has a store at the Suffolk Retail Park on London Road – a site that has been blighted by access problems for years with cars having to queue for up to an hour to get out of the car park on busy weekends.

Its new store will be occupying part of the former B&Q store that closed last August and planning permission for the conversion was granted by Ipswich Council earlier this year as part of a relaunch of the retail park.

There had to be a change of use granted because The Range sells a wider selection of goods than is usually classed as “bulky” under the terms of the original planning permission granted when the retail park was built about 20 years ago.

When the application was made to the council, it said: “The Range is seeking to relocate their existing store at Suffolk Retail Park in Ipswich as Anglia Retail Park is a more preferable trading location for the retailer.”

However a spokeswoman for the company said that it now planned to operate both stores in the town – even though they are only about a mile apart from each other.

The current store will eventually be converted into a Range Outlet store selling end-of-line items at an even greater discount than the normal stores – but no date has been set for this conversion.

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The Range is owned and run by Devon-based entrepreneur Chris Dawson who started out as a market stall trader across the South West of England.

Mr Dawson opened his first superstore in 1989 in his home town of Plymouth and the company has grown significantly over the last 28 years.

The Range sells items across 16 departments, including DIY, arts and crafts, home interiors and household goods. The new store will have a large seasonal department selling garden furniture, barbecues and solar lighting.

Mr Dawson said: “The new Ipswich store comes at a time of massive expansion for the company. We have already opened multiple new stores in 2017 and have many more planned for over the summer.”

He added: “The job generation that will come with this new store is sure to be a tremendous boost for the local economy and a positive addition to the retail park.

“We look forward to welcoming the local community to their new store to explore the vast selection of quality products at low prices.”

New life for retail park with new stores and Bounce trampolines

The opening of The Range at the Anglia Retail Park will help confirm its rebirth as a major destination on the north west corner of Ipswich.

It will take up a significant part of the former B&Q store that closed last year. That unit will also be shared with Bounce Trampoline Centre which is due to open in May, a new Go Outdoors store and a new Dunelm store.

Like The Range, Dunelm is currently based at the traffic-blighted Suffolk Retail Park at the junction of London Road and Yarmouth Road.

There are still other vacant units at the Anglia Retail Park, but the opening of these popular stores and leisure destinations makes it more likely that the remaining units will find new tenants in the near future.

Planning restrictions on store sizes have been relaxed by the borough council.

The new stores are a major boost for a part of Ipswich which has not seen as many new retail developments as the eastern side of the town over the last decade.